Yemen PM instructs government to pay salaries to military

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's prime minister Moeen Abdulmalik in Aden on November 18th. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's prime minister Moeen Abdulmalik in Aden on November 18th. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemen's prime minister has instructed the government to release the salaries of army and police personnel after they staged a two-day sit-in outside the government's headquarters in Aden this week.

The salaries were suspended at the start of the military confrontations between the national army and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in August.

PM Moeen Abdulmalik on Monday (November 25th) instructed the defence and finance ministries and the Central Bank to urgently pay the salaries of army and police personnel as "a main obligation on the part of the government and a right that cannot be compromised".

The directive was issued after the prime minister met with a number of representatives of the protestors at the Maashiq Palace presidential headquarters.

Abdulmalik formed a committee comprising representatives of the defence and finance ministries and Central Bank to follow up on the payment of salaries.

"The government has returned to Aden in implementation of the Riyadh agreement," he said, stressing that its priorities for the time being are to return things to normal, pay employees' salaries and improve public services.

Committees have started work

The government returned to Aden first and foremost to resume the payment of salaries, Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Al-Mashareq.

The situation in Yemen is "extremely complicated and requires the concerted efforts of all parties to implement the Riyadh agreement and focus efforts on confronting the Iran-backed Houthi [Ansarallah] coup", he said.

On Monday, four joint military committees have started implementing the provisions of the Riyadh agreement that pertain to the integration of military and security forces into the defence and interior ministries.

Two of the committees comprise representatives of the legitimate government and the STC and are working in Riyadh under the direct supervision of the Arab Coalition, local media reported.

The two other committees in Aden are gathering all necessary information on the security and military forces, including their numbers and deployment locations.

They are also preparing to collect all heavy and medium weapons in Aden and remove them to camps outside the city under the coalition forces' supervision.

Riyadh agreement 'lifeboat for Yemen'

The military committees on the ground must act fast in implementing the tasks assigned to them, said political analyst Faisal Ahmed.

"The implementation of the military and security aspects of the Riyadh agreement is a key pillar for the successful implementation of the agreement as a whole," he told Al-Mashareq.

"The Riyadh agreement is a lifeboat for Yemen," he said, and any attempt to undermine it will mean a return of military confrontations.

This will endanger civilians' lives, threaten national unity, and thwart efforts to resist Iranian expansion in Yemen, he said.

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Why don't they pay the delayed salaries all at once?