Saudi-led military committee moves heavy weapons outside Aden

A military committee led by Saudi officers in Yemen has transported heavy weapons from bases in the southern port city of Aden, a committee member told Arab News on Friday.

“We’ve moved tanks, cannons and ammunition from Aden military bases to a military outpost in Ras Abbas, on the outskirts of Aden,” said the member on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Under the Riyadh Agreement, the internationally recognized government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council are obliged to hand over their heavy weapons to the Saudi-led military committee, which is tasked with collecting them at a location outside Aden before dispatching them to battlefields.

The committee is also charged with making other security and military arrangements, including the withdrawal of forces from the southern provinces of Shabwa and Abyan.

The Riyadh Agreement, signed in the Saudi capital in November, was designed to defuse tensions between both sides following bloody clashes last year in Aden, Shabwa and Abyan.

Residents in Aden reported seeing columns of lorries carrying tanks leaving military bases and heading to the city’s outskirts.

Despite failing to meet some deadlines included in the Riyadh Agreement, many of its terms have been implemented.

These include the return of the prime minister, the partial withdrawal of forces, an exchange of prisoners and the process of disarmament.

Following the relocation of military units, Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is expected to appoint a new governor for Aden before forming a new government.

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