Authorities have ignored appeals for fuel and boats to aid in the search for the three fishermen, the bodies of two of whom were discovered Monday

Abyan residents furious over government, Saudi-led coalition response to missing fishermen 

The lack of interest from Yemeni and Saudi authorities in Abyan governorate over the disappearance of three fishermen who setting out to sea on a small fishing boat from the coastal city of Ahwar two weeks ago has angered locals.

The bodies of Ali Abdullah Hassan, 44, and his son Saeed, 14, were found early Monday in international waters near the maritime border with Somaliland, a source told Almasdar Online. Abubakr Fawzi Abubakr Khamis, 13, has not been found. The three fishermen launched into the Gulf of Aden on Jan. 27 on a fishing trip. 

Ahwar-based journalist and activist, Hamdi Al-Amoudi, said that the Saudi-led coalition has not responded to requests to aid local efforts to find the fishermen.

Speaking to Almasdar Online, Al-Amoudi said the coalition, including its military command in Aden, and local authorities did not seem to care about the disappearance of the fishermen and did not respond to the residents’ appeals to supply fuel and boats to aid their search.

“The security authorities in Ahwar did not provide any help to the residents of coastal villages and failed to communicate and search for the missing fishermen,” he said.

Al-Amoudi said that a private search has been undertaken by relatives of the missing fishermen. Local residents in the Al-Bandar area of Ahwar city have also contributed fuel to the rescue teams who are using small fishing boats to search the Ahwar coastline. 

Ongoing tensions between Yemen's internationally recognized government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council (STC) over control of Abyan and neighboring governorates has further weakened public services like search and rescue operations in the area.

In August, after the STC seized control of the interim capital Aden and overtook parts of Abyan and Shabwa, Saudi Arabia negotiated a power-sharing deal known as the Riyadh agreement that seeks to incorporate the secessionists into the government and restore stability to the southern region. Signed Nov. 5, the deal has yet to be implemented. 

Editor's note: This story was updated after the bodies of two of the three fishermen were found. 



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