The rebel battalion's position could be restored if ongoing mediation between Socotra’s local authority and the insurgents fails
Socotra: Saudi commander oversees dismissal of UAE-backed coast guard defectors
Yemeni army officials on the island of Socotra dismissed coast guard battalion insurgents at a military meeting on Tuesday, as a preliminary measure against a group of army defectors from the 1st Marine Brigade.
In the presence of a Saudi coalition commander, Yemeni military leaders dismissed the coast guard batallion’s defecting commander, staff and its assistant, according to a statement by the 1st Marine Brigade. The brigade noted that the rebel battalion's position could be restored if mediation between Socotra’s local authority and the insurgents fails by Saturday.
The statement accused the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) and its president in Socotra, Yahya Mubarak, of supporting an insurgency and demanded punishment of the rebels.
Meanwhile, Socotra’s highest tribal leader Sheikh Issa Bin Yakut denounced the coast guard battalion’s actions, saying these developments are "spreading chaos and creating division" and called on the official authorities to do their part.
The battalion announced its allegiance to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council on Monday.
In a statement, Bin Yakut said the insurgents were acting like an alternative state, accusing them of storming the island’s central qat market and targeting individuals originally from northern governorates. Almasdar Online could not independently verify these claims.
On Tuesday, Socotra’s Governor Ramzi Mahrous warned against UAE’s attempts to support a new rebellion against his administration.
Mahrous gave the rebels 24 hours to back down, and stressed that authorities would not stand idly in the face of such actions.
Socotra’s governor was able to quell an armed rebellion by UAE loyalists following clashes in Aden between the STC and government forces in August.
The UAE has recruited hundreds of Socotra natives as part of the island's "Security Belt" force, as well as secured the loyalties of the island's tribal elders through financial perks in urging them to oppose the leadership of the governorate’s local authority.