Yemen’s government has removed leaders in the southern Shabwa province after civilians were killed in violence between southern separatist groups and the internationally recognised government.
The clashes were between the separatist Shabwa Defence Forces and Giants Brigades groups, which are supported by the UAE on the one hand and the Yemeni government’s Special Security Forces and army on the other.
Presidential Leadership Council chief Rashad Al-Alimi offered the government’s “deep regret, profound sorrow and sympathy to the families of the victims, especially the innocent civilians”.
The presidential council “initiated a rapid response, eradicated dissension and held those responsible to account”, Al-Alimi said in a statement reported on Thursday by the official Saba news agency.
He said that a fact-finding committee had been established and military commanders were removed in Shabwa
Yemen officials say infighting kills 35 troops in south
Al-Alimi noted the “state’s commitment to redress the harm done [to victims], address the effects of these events and take the necessary measures to ensure there isn’t a repeat”.
A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states, including the UAE, intervened in the Yemeni conflict in 2015 to support the internationally recognized government, following the seizure of the capital Sanaa by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Both the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition have been accused of grave human rights violations.
While officially part of the coalition, the UAE has pursued its own agenda in Yemen, backing the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and other separatist groups which seek to establish an independent state in Yemen’s south.