Yemen protesters besiege presidential palace in Aden over public pay dispute

Yemen protesters besiege presidential palace in Aden over public pay dispute
Public sector workers are angered by delayed wages.
2 min read
16 March, 2021
Yemen's Aden has hosted the government since the Houthi takeover if Sanaa [Getty]
Yemen's government came under siege Tuesday after protesters stormed the presidential palace in the country's south over the non-payment of salaries.

Dozens of protesters broke into Al-Maashiq Palace in Yemen's second city and de-facto capital, Aden, amid a dispute over public sector pay, according to media reports.

Yemen's Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik and his ministers were forced to take refuge inside the building as the protesters temporarily occupied the palace, Reuters reported.

Government workers and retired soldiers blame the government for delays in salary payments sparking Tuesday's unrest.

The activists soon withdrew after they "delivered their message to the government", local journalist Ali Mahmoud reported according to DW.

Aden has been the seat of government since the Houthi rebels captured the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Aden's security chief Mathar Al-Shaebe was seen pleading with the activists to withdraw from the palace, Reuters added.

The unrest comes at a difficult time for Yemen, with a renewed battle for the city of Marib and an uptick in rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia threathening an escalation in the conflict.

The current Yemeni government comes after a power-sharing agreement was reached last with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council, a separatist militia force that controls much of Aden.

The new government which includes members of both sides was seen as the best hope to end years of in-fighting between the Saudi-backed government and STC.

There could be a new peace push by the UN to end the devastating war between Yemen government forces and the Houthi rebels, after the US recently signalled its backing for new negotiations.

Yemen has been in a state of war since the Houthis took over the capital in September 2014, with the Saudi-led intervention escalating the deadly conflict leading to hundreds of thousands dead.

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