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Yemen demands UN action as UAE, Israel evict locals from strategic island southwest of Socotra

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)

Yemen has called on the United Nations and relevant international bodies to adopt proper measures against expulsion of Yemeni families by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a strategic island southwest of Socotra, as part of plans to build a military base there under the supervision of Israeli military experts.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries and Water Resource in the National Salvation Government roundly 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, and their relocation to the coastal town of Hadibu.

The statement noted that displacement of locals and fishermen from the Yemeni island serves as a flagrant violation of Yemen's sovereignty, and poses serious threats to the residents of nearby islands as well as the international navigation.

The ministry went on to underscore the geostrategic importance of Abd al-Kuri island, arguing that the latest repressive measures against its locals come as Emirati and Israeli vessels continue overfishing in the surrounding waters and seriously harm other marine species. 

The statement also demanded prompt actions by the Security Council, the United Nations and relevant organizations to stop expulsion of people from the island.

It urged withdrawal of occupation Saudi-led forces from all Yemeni lands, and an end to the exploitation of Yemen’s marine wealth and natural reserves in Socotra.

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

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

The Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any of its objectives, leaving hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and spawning the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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