Protesters in Aden demand basic services, criticize slow response by authorities
Hundreds of residents in the interim capital of Aden demonstrated on Friday evening in protest of the lack of basic services, including frequent power outages, days after torrential rains caused deadly flooding.
Protesters blocked main streets in the districts of Al-Mualla, Crater, Al-Mansoura, and Al-Tawahi, setting tires on fire and placing large stones in the middle of the streets, as witnessed by Almasdar Online's correspondent in Aden.
In one video circulated online by activists in Aden, residents were heard chanting “No electricity, no water.” In another, demonstrators shouted “No Transitional, No legitimacy, our revolution is a popular revolution,” referring respectively to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and the Yemeni government, colloquially referred to as the “legitimacy” government.
Several neighborhoods in Aden have been largely cut off from basic services, especially electricity, since last Tuesday, when heavy rains resulted in unprecedented flooding. Eight people, including five children, died due to the flooding, and extensive damage was done to houses and infrastructure, including the collapse of around 75 houses.
The latest environmental crisis to hit Aden comes amid heightened tensions between government and STC forces, and the near collapse of the Riyadh Agreement. As the implementation of the agreement stalls, the Yemeni government has been unable to fully re-establish itself in the interim capital, which remains in large part controlled by UAE-backed forces.
At dawn on Saturday, the Ministry of Electricity announced a gradual return of electricity to the interim capital Aden, after the government-owned Al-Heswah power plant and one of the private power plants came back online after a halt for several days.
The state-run Saba news agency quoted Deputy Minister Abdul Hakim Fadhil as saying that one of the private power plants returned to service after a multi-day suspension, moments after the return of Al-Heswah plant, and said this should contribute to improving residents’ access to electricity.