Arab coalition ‘robbing Yemen of sovereignty’

Minister departing from Hadi’s government says Saudi-led coalition has deviated from its objectives in war-torn country.

Smoke billows from a Saudi-led air strike on Sanaa, Yemen
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two main pillars of a military coalition battling the Houthi rebels in Yemen [Hani Mohammed/The Associated Press]

A former Yemeni minister of state has said that the Saudi-led coalition has deviated from its objectives, adding that the sovereign Yemeni decision has been taken away from the people.

Salah al-Sayadi‘s statement followed his resignation on Wednesday and came just days after he said that Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was under house arrest in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

“All Yemenis are calling for demonstrations and rallies for the return of President Hadi to Yemen,” he said. 

Besides al-Sayadi, Abdulaziz al-Jubari, the minister of civil service, also resigned from Hadi’s government on Wednesday.

He later said the relationship between the coalition and the internationally recognised Yemeni government should be mended.

Power shifts

While the military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was launched in 2015 after the start of the war to defend Hadi’s government and push back the Houthi rebels, the balance of power seems to have shifted.

The UAE has come to dominate southern Yemen, where it has been training and financing troops that answer only to Abu Dhabi, while the Houthis still control the north of the country.

Hadi and much of his government have been in Riyadh for most of the war but, according to the Associated Press news agency, he has been continuously sending written requests to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, wanting to return to Yemen.

Hadi’s inability to get back to southern Yemen is seen as underscoring the president’s loss of authority – even in the south that is nominally under his administration.


Referring to the controversy surrounding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri‘s reported detention in Saudi Arabia, al-Sayadi said that while it took the Lebanese people a matter of days to get their prime minister back, the Yemeni president has been lost for three years.

In November, AP reported that Saudi Arabia had been barring Hadi, along with his sons, ministers and military officials, from returning.

Citing Yemeni officials, the news agency reported that the ban was prompted by enmity between Hadi and the UAE.

The Emiratis distrust Hadi, accusing him of corruption and opposing his alliance with the Islah Party, Yemen’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the AP report.  

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies