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Ex-Hadi minister defects, says Saudi Arabia seeks to partition Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Emirati-backed separatists walk amid clashes with Saudi-backed militants for control of Zinjibar, the capital of the southern Yemeni Abyan Province, on May 23, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

A minister with Yemen’s former Saudi-backed government has broken ranks with the former regime, citing Saudi-led attempts at disintegrating the war-ravaged country.

Mohamed al-Maytami, once the minister of industry and trade, broke up his alliance with former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on Sunday, various Yemeni media outlets reported.

“Regional countries, some of which are present in the Saudi-led coalition are trying twenty-four seven to take Yemen apart,” he said in a departure note.

Hadi resigned and fled the country to Riyadh in 2015 amid a political crisis. Saudi Arabia then invaded Yemen in an attempt to restore him to power.

The war, however, stopped short of its objective, only leaving tens of thousands of Yemenis dead and pushing the entire country close to the brink of outright famine. Some time into the military campaign, infighting erupted between Saudi-backed militants and UAE-backed separatists in southern Yemen.

The separatists have now declared so-called self-rule in the south, and most recently staged a coup in Yemen’s Socotra island, which used to be controlled by the Saudi-backed militants.

Al-Maytami called Hadi and his fellow former officials inefficient, saying he could no longer stand the former regime’s refusal to take an official stance on the Saudi-led drive.

His decision has reportedly been followed by similar resignations.

On Saturday, a Hadi ally called on the Saudi-led coalition to help "stop the mess, chaos, and aggression carried out by the (UAE-backed) militia and implement the provisions of the Riyadh agreement," Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.

Reached last year in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the deal was supposed to enable conciliation between the Saudi-backed and UAE-backed forces, and bring a Hadi-led administration to rule in the southern city of Aden. The city, however, is now ironically the self-styled headquarters of the Emirati-led separatists.

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