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Report: Yemenis being evicted from strategic island to make way for UAE military base

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)
This file picture shows a view of Abd al-Kuri island, which is part of the Socotra Archipelago and lies about 105 kilometers (65 miles) southwest of the strategic island of Socotra. (Photo via Twitter)

Dozens of Yemeni families are being forcibly evicted from their homes in Abd al-Kuri island, southwest of the strategic island of Socotra, to make way for an Emirati military base, purportedly under the supervision of Israeli military experts. 

The Directorate General of Fisheries in Yemen’s National Salvation Government in a Wednesday statement strongly denounced the eviction of the residents of Abd al-Kuri island, which is part of the Socotra Archipelago and lies about 105 kilometers (65 miles) southwest of the island of Socotra.

The statement noted that the displacement of locals from the Yemeni island serves as a prelude to its militarization and transformation into an Emirati military base, adding that the plan is in line with a US-Israeli plot.

It also pointed to the strategic importance of Abd al-Kuri island, emphasizing that the United Nations and human rights organizations should fulfill their responsibilities amid the unfolding events there.

The directorate called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and environmental organizations to take immediate measures in the face of ongoing destruction of the natural and marine reserves of the island.

Abd al-Kuri is among the most important islands near the Horn of Africa, and has great economic and oil resources. There is a dispute between Yemen and the Somali government over the island's sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia, UAE race to militarily control Aden presidential palace

In a separate development, reports cited local sources in the southern Yemen's port city of Aden saying that large military reinforcements, including various munitions, military vehicles and armored personnel carriers had arrived there.

The sources noted that the reinforcements were mainly dispatched by Saudi Arabia, and were meant to help closely guard the head of Yemen's so-called presidential council, Rashad al-Alimi, at Ma’ashiq Palace, and members of the council.

The military equipment arrived in Aden less than a day after the UAE had sent reinforcements to its allied Takfiri militants in Aden.

This comes as many political analysts have described as “unreasonable” the competition between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to abruptly send military reinforcements to the city of Aden, under the pretext of “protecting Ma’ashiq Palace and securing the presidential council.”

Saudi Arabia launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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