Aden’s new governor returns to city

Special Aden’s new governor returns to city
Ahmed Lamlis shortly after arriving in Aden. (AFP)
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Updated 27 August 2020

Aden’s new governor returns to city

Aden’s new governor returns to city

Al-Mukalla: Aden’s new governor, Ahmed Lamlis, has urged political parties and people in Yemen’s port city of Aden to set their differences aside and focus their efforts on helping him to revive state bodies and fix services in the city.

Shortly after arriving in Aden on Thursday, Lamlis told reporters that he would work as hard as he could to address the city’s thorny issues such as insecurity and crumbling services.

“We came to Aden to work with love and loyalty for our beloved capital, Aden. We have support from the Saudi reconstruction fund and the (Yemeni) government,” the governor said.

Under a power-sharing deal, known as the Riyadh Agreement, Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi last month appointed Lamlas, who is also the secretary general of pro-independence southern Transitional Council (STC), governor of Aden.

Aden, the second most important city in Yemen and the country’s interim capital, has become the scene of several rounds of conflicts between the internationally recognized government and the STC since early 2018. Separatists seized control of Aden, expelled the government and in June declared self-rule in the southern provinces.

Aden was declared a disaster area in June after heavy rainstorms destroyed the city, disrupting water and electricity services. In May, the government declared the city an infested area after coronavirus spread rapidly across the city, claiming the lives of dozens of people. Due to crumbling health services, COVID-19 and other diseases claimed the lives of more than 1,800 people in May, according to official figures.

Voicing their optimism about the arrival of the new governor, residents and Aden-based analysts called upon Lamlis to urgently unify military units under his command, bring back electricity and water services and restore state institutions. “The new governor is facing many serious challenges. The biggest one is the state of services, including the long power cuts,” Yasser Al-Yafae, a political analyst, told Arab News from Aden.

He said that for the new governor for succeed, he has to build harmony, restore trust between the STC and the internationally recognized government and address the teachers’ strike that has paralyzed education in the city for several months. “He will not be able to solve these problems if there is no coordination between him and the government,” Al-Yafae said.

In Riyadh, several foreign diplomats held meetings with the STC leaders, focusing on their reasons for suspending their participation in Riyadh Agreement talks. STC official media said on Thursday that its president, Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, held a virtual meeting the British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron and also met in person Dya-Eddine Bamakhrama, the ambassador of Djibouti to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “They came to listen to our point of view and the reasons that prompted us to suspend our participation in the consultations,” Ali Al-Katheri, a senior STC member who attended the meetings, said.

The council would come back to the talks when the government halts military escalation in Abyan, pays salaries and addresses the plunge of the currency, he said.

The Djiboutian ambassador to Saudi Arabia said on Twitter that he met STC leaders to express his president’s full support for the Riyadh Agreement and for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to bring back peace and stability to Yemen.