SANA’A/RIYADH – A ceasefire agreement was reached on Tuesday between Yemen’s Saudi Arabia-backed government and their former southern separatist allies, ending three days of fighting in the southern port city of Aden, sources in the Yemeni Interior Ministry told EFE.
Witnesses in Aden, which functions as the southern provisional capital, told EFE that the South Yemen separatists, who are backed by the United Arab Emirates, had wrested control of nearly the entire city from forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, currently exiled in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s Interior Minister Ahmed al-Maisiry met early this morning with the leader of the South Yemen separatists, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, in response to repeated calls for a truce by the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, the Interior Ministry sources detailed.
However, no official statements had been released from either side confirming the ceasefire.
The Saudi-led coalition had pressed the two erstwhile allies to halt the fighting for control of the provisional capital Aden, urging them to concentrate on the three-year war against the Houthis rebels, who control Yemen’s official capital city of Sana’a.
Cracks in Hadi’s alliance with the South Yemen separatists became a full-blown rupture on Sunday, leading to street fighting with armored vehicles and small arms in Aden that left dozens of fighters killed and wounded.
Earlier Tuesday, a suicide car bombing and gun attack killed at least 15 southern separatist fighters at a checkpoint in the oil-rich province of Shabwa in southern Yemen, security officials told EFE.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials claimed the al-Qaida terror organization was behind the attack on the South Yemen separatist checkpoint in Nokhan town near the city of Ataq, the capital of Shabwa.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.