Yemen president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has asked his government’s ministers to leave their offices in the Saudi capital and visit liberated provinces in Yemen to address people’s thorny woes, the official Saba news agency said.
In a meeting in Riyadh on Saturday, Hadi told senior officials to travel to the liberated areas to survey the people’s needs including jobs, security, stability, services and infrastructure. The internationally-recognised government has repeatedly come under fire from locals for remotely running the liberated provinces from Riyadh.
Yemeni forces, with the help of the Saudi-led coalition, have pushed Al Houthis and Al Qaida militants out of all southern provinces, Marib and most of Jawf province.
Despite improved security in these areas, many ministers continue to reside in the Saudi capital, shuttling to Aden, the government’s base, when it is required.
“The government’s return to the liberated area is necessary since it would send a positive message to the general public that their government is standing by them. It will also send another message to the international community that the government is firmly controlling 80 per cent of Yemeni territories,” Mukhtar Al Rahabi, a former aide to Yemen president, told Gulf News.
In the same meeting, Hadi said that his government is “strongly” willing to end the conflict through peaceful means provided that the rebel forces abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions, the agreements made at the National Dialogue Conference and the GCC-brokered peace initiative.
“We have clearly told the UN envoy in our latest meeting that we seriously want peace in both deeds and words.” he said.
Hadi headed to New York on Sunday ahead of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. According to Saba, he will address the suffering of the Yemeni people “due to Al Houthis and Saleh’s unjust war” at the General Assembly.
He is also set to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Meanwhile, on the ground, local army commanders loyal to the legitimate government said on Sunday that at least two dozen Al Houthis fighters were killed in fighting since Saturday.
The fiercest clashes were reported in the province of Baydha where tribesmen killed at least ten Al Houthis in thee Na’em district.
Local media reported on Sunday that government forces broke an Al Houthi siege on some small villages in Lahej’s Karash region.
Aden Al Ghad, an independent news site, said that Al Houthis heavily shelled Karash’s market after losing territory.
Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition launched several air strikes targeting Al Houthis military positions and suspected arms depots in San’a, Dhamar and Taiz.
In southern port city of Aden, a masked man on a motorbike on Sunday gunned down two soldiers who were having their breakfast in local cafeteria in Shaikh Othman district.