The electricity cuts highlight growing Emirati influence on the island despite Yemeni government pushback
Socotra loses power after Yemeni officials flag unauthorized UAE ship
Yemeni officials on the archipelago of Socotra have prevented an Emirati ship from docking at the main island’s port until inspections and other legal procedures are carried out, a source in the local authority told Almasdar Online.
The Emirati ship was stopped for lacking official permits from the Saudi-led coalition to enter Socotra, the source said.
That prompted Dexim Power company, run by Emirati businessman Khalfan Al-Mazroui, to cut electricity on the island on the pretext that its power generators required diesel fuel on board the ship, the source said.
While the ship is undergoing inspection, Saudi forces based on the island have agreed to supply Dexim with diesel, the source said.
Since the war broke out on Yemen’s mainland in 2015, UAE ships and companies have been accustomed to entering and exiting Socotra without coordination with local officials. However, Socotra's Gov. Ramzi Mahrous, appointed in 2018, has insisted on enforcing port inspections.
Local officials suspect that Al-Mazroui’s ship may be carrying weapons, given the intensifying clashes between government troops and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council, the source said.
Al-Mazroui, who also owns a fishing company on Socotra, is known to distribute aid to the island through the UAE Red Crescent and allegedly implements the Emirates’ agenda there. He is accused of supporting pro-STC rebellions against local authorities loyal to the internationally recognized government.
Editing by Casey Coombs