Saudi committee in Aden to oversee forces withdrawal

Special Saudi committee in Aden to oversee forces withdrawal
Fighters from of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) gather during clashes with Saudi-backed government forces in the Sheikh Salim area in the southern Abyan province on May 12, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 August 2020

Saudi committee in Aden to oversee forces withdrawal

Saudi committee in Aden to oversee forces withdrawal
  • Saudi committee members are in Aden to oversee implementation of the agreement

AL-MUKALLA: A Saudi committee met on Sunday in the southern city of Aden with senior military officers from the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to discuss the withdrawal of forces from Aden and Abyan, local media and officials said.

Assigned by the Saudi government to oversee the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, the committee touched down in Aden last week where members met with Gen. Ahmed Saeed Ben Break, the acting president of the STC, and other local officials.

Mohammed Al-Jaber, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, said that the Saudi Coordination and Liaison Team, led by Mohammed Al-Rubaie, in cooperation with Saudi-led troops in Aden, will supervise the withdrawal of STC military units from the region. They will also visit the southern province of Abyan to monitor the withdrawal of government and STC forces to previous locations under the Riyadh Agreement.

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi appointed a new governor and chief security for Aden and mandated Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed to form a new government as the STC abandoned self-rule in southern Yemeni provinces.

Yemeni government and STC officials pledged to comply with the Saudi committee despite trading accusations about breaches to the truce. Mohammed Al-Naqeeb, a spokesperson for the STC forces in Abyan, told Arab News by telephone that their forces would adhere to the cease-fire announced in Riyadh and other terms of the Riyadh Agreement.


The Saudi Coordination and Liaison Team in cooperation with Saudi-led troops in Aden will supervise the withdrawal of STC military units from the region, as their exit from southern Yemen paves way for peace.

“We are committed to the Riyadh Agreement and we will work on smoothing the way for the success of the Saudi committee,” Al-Naqeeb said. Yemeni military officials also say their commanders asked them to follow the truce and comply with Saudi monitors that will visit contested areas in Abyan.


In Riyadh, the prime minister met with senior members of the General People’s Congress Party (GPC) as part of his discussions with political parties in Yemen to form the new government.

The official Saba news agency reported that the prime minister’s consultations focused on the cabinet formation, its new priorities and the Riyadh Agreement. The GPC had ruled Yemen for more than three decades during the reign of Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Also in Riyadh, US Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel congratulated new Aden Gov. Ahmed Hamid Lamlis on his new post, describing his appointment as an important step towards peace and stability in Yemen.

“US Ambassador Christopher Henzel met Gov. of Aden Ahmed Lamlas and congratulated him on his appointment, which is an important step in implementing the Riyadh Agreement and towards restoring stability and security to Yemen,” the embassy said.

Fighting in Jawf

Heavy fighting broke out on Saturday and Sunday in the northern province of Jawf after government forces launched an offensive aimed at clearing Iran-backed Houthis from areas in Khab and Shaaf district.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry said that army troops and allied tribesmen liberated a number of locations in the district during the early hours of the offensive after killing and capturing dozens of Houthis.

Rabia Al-Qurashi, the army’s spokesman in Al-Jawf, said that government forces seized seven abandoned military vehicles as a Saudi-led coalition aircraft destroyed three others and targeted Houthi gatherings and reinforcements, killing dozens of rebels.

Similar heavy fighting between government forces and Houthis broke out in the mountainous Nehim district, near Houthi-held Sanaa. The army posted a video of government forces firing at fleeing Houthi fighters on a battlefield in Nehim.