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.