Hundreds of Yemeni protesters attack Aden government buildings after four days of power cuts

Hundreds of Yemeni protesters attack Aden government buildings after four days of power cuts
Hundreds of protesters have protested violently in the Yemeni city of Aden, attacking government buildings, after flash floods completely cut off electricity.
2 min read
25 April, 2020
Protesters burned tires in the streets of Aden [Twitter]
Hundreds of angry protesters have taken to the streets of Aden, Yemen's second-largest city and the temporary seat of the internationally-recognized government, after electricity was cut in the city for four consecutive days.

After floods hit Aden on Tuesday, killing 20 people, the city's electricity system went completely out of of service. On Friday evening and the early hours of Saturday morning, the protesters cut off several roads in the city and burned tires in the street.

They also tried to set fire to government buildings, burning one of the main doors of a building belonging to the government's statistics office in the Tawahi area.

In an attempt to placate the protesters, the government announced on Saturday that electricity would gradually return to Aden.

It said on Twitter that the Haswa power station had returned to service and that this would reduce the number of hours that the city would be without electricity,

Aden has suffered from a lack of essential services for a long time. The city has previously seen fighting between government forces and UAE-backed separatists who want to establish a state in southern Yemen and the two sides have traded accusations regarding the situation.

They agreed to a Saudi-sponsored peace deal last October, under which the Saudi-backed government assumed control of Aden and UAE troops left the city, but relations remain tense.

The southern separatists claim that the Yemeni government is imposing collective punishment on the population of Aden by neglecting public services.

Read also: PM appeals for assistance after 'disastrous' Aden flooding

The UAE-backed separatists announced their backing for the protests and told their supporters to take part in what they called "peaceful" protests against the government’s alleged neglect of Aden.

Temperatures are extremely high in the city in summer and for many years, the government has failed to provide a constant supply of electricity.

The renewed operation of the Haswa plant will only provide electricity for three hours every seven hours.

Yemen has been at war since 2015, when the rebel Houthi movement took over the capital Sanaa, forcing the government to flee to Aden.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in support of the government, but the latter pursues its own agenda in the country, backing southern separatist militias.

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