The protesters demanded the re-opening of a stretch of coast flanking an Emirati military base

Yemeni fishermen protest UAE blockade of southern coast

Fishermen in Yemen’s eastern governorate of Hadhramout staged a vigil on Sunday denouncing the continued fishing ban near the Saudi-led coalition’s Emirati command center in the capital Mukalla. 

In their vigil near Al-Rayyan International Airport, protesters demanded the re-opening of the Shahri coast in Ghail Bawazir district to fishermen, now banned for three years.  

In 2016, UAE forces helped liberate Mukalla from Al-Qaeda forces who took advantage of a power vacuum in the city after Houthi forces toppled the internationally recognized government in Sanaa and pushed southward. The Emirati base has become a launching pad for counterterror operations in the area.  

While the UAE presence has helped restore commerce in Mukalla, some Yemenis have been left out of the war economy.

The protesters carried banners reading, "Open our sea to our livelihood," while denouncing the Saudi-led coalition for preventing them from earning a living. The fishermen staged another vigil several days ago, demanding that they be able to fish on the coasts near Al-Rayyan airport and the Al-Dhabba oil port. 

UAE-backed forces have arrested a number of fishermen on the Hadhrami coast for carrying out similar protests.



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