The first steps in the Yemeni governments political and military re-establishment in Aden are being taken.
Implementation of Riyadh agreement under way in Aden
A military source told Almasdar Online that on Friday morning a committee of officers from the Ministry of Defense arrived in Aden from Riyadh to begin overseeing the implementation of the military annex of the Riyadh agreement. According to the military source, the committee includes Major General Ahmed al-Massoud, Brigadier General Amjad Khalid, Brigadier General Tariq al-Nassi and Brigadier General Ahmed al-Dhaheri.
The source added that the committee will oversee rearrangement of the First Brigade’s Presidential Protection battalion along with the rearrangement of the Fourth Military Zone. The committee’s objective is to restructure the Fourth Military Zone both in terms of resource allocation and geographic presence, in accordance with the Riyadh agreement and the directives of the Yemeni president, under supervision the Saudi-led coalition.
The source said that the committee will also begin to oversee the demilitarization of the Southern Transitional Council (STC). The committee will ensure the removal of heavy weaponry from urban positions taken up by STC forces in recent months, relocating them to a single base supervised by the Saudi-led coalition. The committee will also oversee the removal of STC forces from their positions surrounding the city, and in turn the incorporation of STC fighters into the state security and military apparatus.
First large-scale military moves
Meanwhile, a military convoy arrived in the coastal town of Shaqra east of the city of Zinjibar on Saturday on its way to Aden.
A source work for Defense Ministry said to Almasdar Online that the convoy is made up of more than 30 cargo trucks carrying armored vehicles, soldiers and other equipment. The convoy passed through the Mudia district in South-Eastern Abyan governorate, and then continued towards Aden.
According to the source, the force is part of the 1st Presidential Protection Brigade which will be rearranged in Aden governorate according to the military annex of Riyadh agreement.
What about the Houthis?
While militarily, and with regards to public administration the task at hand seems straight forward, politically the outlook is decidedly more murky.
Prime Minister Dr. Maeen Abdul Malik announced that the Yemeni government has begun implementing its side of the Riyadh agreement and aims to produce tangible results within three months of the agreements signing, which took place on November 5th. In an interview with Russian news agency Sputnik, the prime minister claimed priorities of this implementation plan includes resuming the provision of public services, establishing security and stability, paying government salaries, reforming state institutions, and absorbing all the armed forces on the ground into the state-governed military apparatus. Additional priorities include unifying the anti-Houthi effort in Yemen.
On the future of negotiations with the Houthis in the face of unfulfilled previous agreements the prime minister said "The Houthi group is not qualified and unwilling to be a party to a peace agreement, for many reasons."
He explained that one of these reasons is its violent nature, given that violence is the essence of the groups nature and is at the heart of its faith. He further added that a peace agreement with the Houthis is not possible because they wage war against Yemeni citizens and institutions
and are the proxies of an aggressive regional force (Iran) that interferes in the affairs of its regional neighbors.
The prime minister noted that the efforts of three UN envoys have been met with the Houthi “...procrastination, evasiveness and lies."
He expanded saying "Our goal is clear: ending the coup and restoring the state, and we have come half way to achieving this goal through the defensive war that we had to fight, and it will not be bad for us to complete the rest of the distance to achieve our goal through politics and dialogue, but we are very happy to see the real sustainable peace is achieved."