Security |

Aden to improve services, fix infrastructure

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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This picture taken on November 6th shows a general view of a road in the Yemen port city of Aden. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP] 

Yemen's government on Wednesday (November 20th) announced it will be undertaking a number of urgently-needed infrastructure repairs and public sector interventions in the provisional capital of Aden.

The move comes as part of the implementation of the November 5th Riyadh agreement, a power-sharing deal between the government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC).

During a meeting with government ministers and Aden local council members, Prime Minister Moeen Abdulmalik announced a raft of urgently-needed interventions in Aden to resolve issues that have accumulated since August.

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Yemen's Prime Minister Moeen Abdulmalik arrives in Aden on November 18th under a peace deal with southern separatists. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP] 

These will be undertaken in co-operation with the local authority over the next three months, he said.

"With the Riyadh agreement, Aden today has a historic opportunity to restore its role and standing," Abdulmalik said.

He noted Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's exhortation to all state officials and government agencies to establish security and stability, stimulate economic growth and improve services in Aden as top priorities.

Improving public services

Deputy Aden governor Ghassan al-Zamki listed the sectors that must be included in the efforts to improve public services and alleviate suffering.

"The payment of delayed salaries to all employees is a priority," he told Al-Mashareq. "This is in addition to improving services in all sectors, including electricity, water, roads and health."

"During the meeting, local councils and government offices in all districts of Aden presented a number of proposals and urgent fixes needed in the sectors that sustained damages in the recent military confrontations," he said.

"The Prime Minister issued instructions for urgently examining such proposals and starting the necessary repairs in the damaged sectors," he added.

During a November 10th workshop in the Saudi capital to discuss reconstruction and future development in Aden and other government-controlled parts of Yemen, the kingdom promised to support these efforts, al-Zamki said.

Need for Saudi oversight

Political analyst Faisal Ahmed noted the importance of Saudi Arabia's supervision of the implementation of the Riyadh agreement, especially as it relates to security, as this will impact all other sectors.

"The Riyadh agreement calls for restructuring government forces and STC formations and integrating them under the interior ministry," he noted.

Once this task has been accomplished, he said, security and emergency forces will assume responsibility for protecting the city.

"There are disputes between the government and STC around the interpretation of some provisions," he noted.

"For example, the agreement calls for forming the Facilities Protection Forces from former forces, including those loyal to the government and those loyal to the STC, within 30 days," he said. "But there has been dispute about the representation of each side and its numbers."

"Therefore, Saudi Arabia must have a strong presence in the implementation of the agreement in the security and military aspects and pressure all sides in its capacity as sponsor and supporter," he said.

During Wednesday's meeting, "the Prime Minister also spoke about the need to restrict weapons and means of force to the state to establish security and stability", he added.

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