ADEN: Yemen’s prime minister appealed on Wednesday for reconciliation with southern separatists after deadly clashes last month in which they seized almost all of Aden where his government has its base.
Security sources told AFP that separatists have lifted their siege of the presidential palace and handed back three military camps to government troops. But they remain in control of the rest of Yemen’s second city as well as swathes of neighboring provinces.
Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher called for an end to the infighting between the rival sides, which had previously fought together against Iran-backed Houthi militias who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north.
“The mission today is to bridge the gap, heal the wounds and abandon political escalation,” Dagher told the first Cabinet meeting since the fighting.
“Based on directives from the president, we will work for social reconciliation in Aden and neighboring provinces to pave the way for comprehensive national reconciliation,” government-run media quoted him as saying.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is based in Saudi Arabia, has struggled to keep together a disparate loyalist alliance, which has relied heavily on southern separatist forces.
South Yemen was an independent country until its unification with the north in 1990.
On Tuesday, forces loyal to the country’s internationally recognized government recaptured a key crossroads town in the southwestern province of Hodeidah in an effort to cut off supply lines to the Houthi militias.
The officials said on Tuesday that forces backed by airstrikes from the Saudi coalition have taken control of the town of Hays after two weeks of fierce fighting against the militias.