Yemen PM says ‘great progress’ in Riyadh Agreement implementation process

Tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees in Yemen’s Marib region. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 16 September 2020

Yemen PM says ‘great progress’ in Riyadh Agreement implementation process

  • The agreement was signed in November between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and separatists in the south of the country. It was aimed at ending infighting

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s prime minister-designate said that the country’s parties had achieved great progress toward the full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, forming a new government and ending hostilities in southern provinces, the official Saba news agency reported.

Prime Minister-designate Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed told a group of pro-government resistance fighters from southern provinces that his consultations on forming a new government under the agreement had reached advanced stages with great support from Saudi Arabia.

The agreement was signed in November between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and separatists in the south of the country. It was aimed at ending infighting.

Saeed hailed the political forces that “keenly” engaged in the consultations, saying that the implementation of the agreement would unite Yemenis in their battle against the Houthis.

The new government’s priorities would include alleviating people’s suffering, fixing the economy, restoring peace and security to liberated areas and ending the Houthi military coup, Saeed told the meeting.

Under a power-sharing agreement between the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC), Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi would appoint a new prime minister and a governor, and security chief for Aden as military units pulled out of contested areas.

In July, Hadi mandated Saeed to form the new government and appointed Ahmed Hamed Lamlis as Aden governor.

A military committee led by Saudi officers is monitoring a truce in the southern province of Abyan and sponsoring the redeployment of forces.

Dozens of people have been killed since May, when government forces launched an offensive in Abyan aimed at expelling the STC from Aden and other southern provinces.

On the battlefields, army troops and allied tribesmen on Tuesday asserted their control over a large territory east of Hazem, the capital of the northern province of Jouf, a day after recapturing it from the Houthis.

Maj. Gen. Ameen Al-Waili, the acting commander of the 6th Military Region, was quoted as saying by state media that government troops backed by Arab coalition warplanes liberated the Al-Douhedha region on Monday after a “successful” quick attack on Houthi fighters.

State TV broadcast footage of him visiting the liberated area as soldiers retrieved weapons abandoned by the Houthis.

Dozens of Houthi fighters were killed, wounded or captured during the attack as loyalists pushed to expel rebels from new areas outside Hazem, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said.

In the central province of Marib, hundreds of army troops and local tribesmen pushed out Houthis from a new area in Al-Makhdara after a heavy battle.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry said that coalition warplanes carried out dozens of sorties in Jouf and Marib, hitting the militia’s targets and killing dozens of its fighters.

In Sanaa and other Houthi-held territories in northern Yemen, thousands of people mourned dozens of fighters who were killed in clashes with government forces in Jouf and Marib during the last few days.

Despite suffering heavy losses in the two provinces, the Houthis have pressed ahead with their assault on the city of Marib, attacking military and civilian targets with drones and missiles.

Earlier this week, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths repeated his calls for halting military attacks on Marib. Local and international rights and aid groups have expressed concerns about a major humanitarian crisis in the densely populated area if the Houthis were allowed to invade the city.


Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

Updated 48 min 21 sec ago

Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

CAIRO: A huge explosion was heard in southern Lebanon in the village of Ain Qana, according to Lebanese broadcasters and witnesses.

The explosion occurred in an arms depot for Hezbollah in the village, one Lebanese security official in south Lebanon said, without elaborating on the cause. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
An official with the militant group Hezbollah confirmed there was an explosion but declined to give further details, according to the Associated Press. Another local Hezbollah official could not confirm any casualties and said the nature of the blast was not yet clear. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

Members of the group imposed a security cordon around the area. Security sources said earlier there were injuries in the blast. 

Pictures from Lebanese news media showed clouds of dark smoke rose from the area. The cause of the blast about 50 km (30 miles) south of Beirut was not immediately clear.

Twitter account Intel Sky shared footage of what the explosion purportedly looks like.

 

The mysterious explosion comes seven weeks after the massive explosion at Beirut port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,500 and damaged tens of thousands of buildings in the capital, Beirut.
It is still not clear what caused the initial fire that ignited the chemicals, and so far no one has been held accountable.

(with Reuters and AP)