SANA’A – A Yemeni army commander denounced on Tuesday that the southern separatists were not complying with a ceasefire agreed to with Yemen’s Saudi Arabia-backed government forces.
Lieutenant General Mahran al-Qubati said in a statement that government forces and their Saudi allies were committed to the ceasefire and had withdrawn troops from all positions in Aden, the disputed provisional capital, but that separatists had not done the same.
The army commander alluded to the role of the United Arab Emirates, member of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, which backs the southern separatists, whom al-Qubati described as plotting to overthrow the legitimate regime.
Witnesses told EFE that al-Qubati’s house was set on fire by separatists and the commander said out in the statement that he was in a safe place in Aden, without giving further details regarding his whereabouts.
Witnesses in Aden told EFE that the South Yemen separatists had wrestled control of almost all the city from forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, currently exiled in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s interior minister, Ahmed al-Maisiry, met early Tuesday 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 stated.
The Saudi-led coalition had pressed the two allies to halt the fighting for control of Aden, urging them to concentrate instead on the three-year war against the Houthi rebels, who control Yemen’s official capital Sana’a.
Cracks in Hadi’s alliance with the South Yemen separatists became a full-blown rupture on Sunday, leading to street fighting between infantry and tanks in Aden that left dozens of fighters killed and wounded.