Yemen's PM arrives in Aden to set up administration

Yemen's PM arrives in Aden to set up administration
Riyadh-based Khaled Bahah arrived back in Aden with several ministers with the aim of establishing a base for the exiled government.
2 min read
16 September, 2015
Khaled Bahah was appointed prime minister in September 2014 [AFP].
Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah arrived in Aden on Wednesday, his spokesman said, advancing efforts to re-establish an administration on home soil after months working from exile with Gulf Arab allies to battle Houthi control of the country.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Bahah said that "the government came back to exercise its national duties at an exceptional time in the history of a country that is dreaming of a civil state". 

"The government, as it returns, is aware of the large size of suffering inflicted upon citizens in liberated cities," he added. 

"In the same way its work abroad was for restoring the state and victory against the forces of evil, its work inside will spare no effort to complete the victory, normalise life, and reconstruct and rehabilitate all the beautiful things that were destroyed," the statement continued. 

Earlier, government spokesman Rajeh Badi said Bahah, who is also vice president, was accompanied by seven ministers when he arrived in Aden, where local fighters backed by Saudi-led forces drove the Houthi movement out in July.

Bahah's return from Saudi Arabia follows that of several other Yemeni ministers who relocated to Aden from the kingdom in the weeks after the city's recapture. Bahah made a brief visit to Aden on August 1.

"Khaled Bahah and the ministers who arrived with him are in Aden to stay permanently," Badi told Reuters.

The city of one million had been gripped by chaos and lawlessness since local fighters, including supporters of President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, drove the Houthis out.

Residents complain that local authorities have been slow in seeking to restore basic services and clean up debris and garbage that had accumulated on the streets since the Iranian-allied Houthis captured it after heavy fighting that began in March.

Residents also say that fighters from out of town, including some affiliated to al-Qaeda, had been seen on the streets of the city raising fears that the city is being taking over by militants.

"The decision of the government to return to Aden has to be taken immediately before the collapse of the security situation and services," said Lutfi Shatara, a leader of Herak, or Southern Movement, a local political coalition seeking to restore the former South Yemen which merged with the northern part of the country in 1990.