The Yemeni government delegation planned to hold a meeting at Al-Ma'ashiq presidential palace to discuss measures being taken to deal with coronavirus
Security Belt Forces block government delegation from Aden’s presidential palace
Soldiers belonging to the 4th Logistic and Support Brigade in the Security Belt Forces (SBF) have turned away a government delegation at the Al-Ma’ashiq presidential palace in Yemen’s interim capital of Aden, a military official told Almasdar Online.
The delegation – which consisted of Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Salem Al-Khanbashi, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Hussein Basalama and officials in the health and education ministries – asked soldiers manning the presidential palace gates for permission to enter. The soldiers balked, saying they were following instructions from the SBF, the elite paramilitary wing of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) that took control of Aden by force in August.
Saudi Arabia intervened to quell tensions between the internationally recognized government and the STC, proposing a power-sharing deal known as the Riyadh Agreement to help restore stability in Aden and surrounding governorates.
The government delegation planned to discuss measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic at the presidential palace and learn about the health ministry's efforts, officials in the presidential office told Almasdar Online.
The blocking of the delegation coincides with the arrival of SBF reinforcements to Aden from neighboring Lahj governorate. The reinforcements – consisting of tanks, armored vehicles, cannons, hundreds of soldiers and dozens of local gunmen – were sent to the SBF’s main military base in western Aden.