The military brass discussed plans to implement the next phase of the Riyadh agreement

Saudi officers meet Yemeni army commanders on Abyan

A committee of Saudi officers met with military leaders in Yemen’s internationally recognized government in the coastal town of Shaqra in southern Abyan governorate on Monday to discuss the redeployment of government forces in accordance with the military annex of the Riyadh Agreement. 

A senior official in the government-run Ministry of Defense, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press, said that four senior officers in the Saudi forces met with Ali Al-Dheeb Al-Kazimi, director of security in Abyan, Louay Al-Zamki, commander of the 3rd Presidential Protection Brigade, and Abdullah Al-Subaihi, commander of the 39th Armored Brigade, to discuss the redeployment of government forces to their military positions before fighting that broke out with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in August spiraled toward civil war. Saudi Arabia negotiated an end to the clashes with a power sharing deal known as the Riyadh agreement, which incorporates the pro-secession STC into the government based in Yemen’s interim capital of Aden. 

Both sides in the Monday meeting agreed that the Special Security Forces, regular police and military police would take over security in Abyan’s capital city Zanjibar from the UAE-backed Security Belt forces. They also agreed that police stations in the rest of the governorate would start operating again. 

The defense official said the Saudi officers also held an unannounced meeting with the leaders of the UAE-backed STC prior to arriving in Shaqra to negotiate the movement of the 1st Presidential Protection Brigade to Aden, where they will be in charge of protecting officials in the reconstituted government. 

At the meeting in Shaqra, the military leaders also discussed the repositioning of the 3rd Presidential Protection Brigade at Al-Omari camp located in Dhubab district near the Red Sea port of Al-Mocha in Taiz governorate. The parties further agreed to transfer the 39th Armored Brigade forces to Lawder district in northeastern Abyan governorate. 

News of the military reshuffles follow on the heels of an agreement reached last week on the implementation of phase two of the Riyadh Agreement.



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