Southern Yemen fighters seize govt camps in Aden

ADEN: Yemen’s southern fighters took control of all government military camps in Aden on Saturday, an official said, as fighting raged between nominal allies who have turned on each other, complicating UN efforts to end a devastating war.
Battles had resumed at dawn, marking a fourth straight day of clashes between the fighters and government forces in the port city that is temporarily hosting Yemen’s internationally-recognised authorities.
At least eight civilians were killed on Friday, medical sources said.
The combatants are both part of the pro-government military coalition that has been battling the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen since March 2015. The war has killed tens of thousands and pushed the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of famine.
The fighters took control of all military camps in the city belonging to the internationally-recognised government, a government official said.
Saturday’s clashes initially centred on the all-but empty presidential palace in the predominantly residential Crater district, near Aden International Airport and in a neighbourhood where Interior Minister Ahmed al Mayssari lives, residents said.
The fighters also took over his house, which he had already vacated, officials said.
The Norwegian Refugee Council said the battles had trapped civilians in their homes with dwindling supplies of food and water. The aid group said prolonged fighting in Aden, a gateway for commercial and aid supplies, could impact efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis gripping the rest of the country.
The clashes began on Wednesday after the fighters accused an party allied to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi of complicity in a missile attack on a military parade, one of three separate attacks that targeted southern forces. The fighters and Hadi’s government are nominally united in their battle against the Ansar Allah, who removed Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014, but they have rival agendas for Yemen’s future.
The United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition but backing the separatists, said all efforts should focus on defeating the Ansar Allah, and called for an end to the escalation in Aden.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed called on UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths “to deploy efforts and exert pressure” to that purpose.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had on Saturday urged the parties to cease hostilities and engage in “inclusive dialogue”.— Reuters