Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council to restructure army and security forces

Goal of the newly approved military and security committee is to prevent internal clashes within Yemeni forces

Soldiers loyal to the Aden-based Yemeni government stand before a poster of Rashad Al Alimi, head of the Presidential Leadership Council. AFP
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Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council has formed a military commission to restructure the army and security apparatus, a statement released on Monday said.

The goal of the newly approved military and security committee is to prevent internal clashes within Yemeni forces and to create a unified joint command, the council said in a statement issued after a meeting headed by its chairman, Gen Rashad Al Alimi.

The council said the decision was in accordance with Article 5 of the agreement announced last month in Riyadh regarding the transfer of power from Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

The 59-member committee will be headed by Maj Gen Haitham Qassem Taher, with Maj Gen Taher Ali Al Aqili as deputy. It includes Brig Gen Hussein Al Hayal, a former director of the Office of the Minister of Defence, the council said.

“The council also agreed to form a committee to evaluate and restructure the intelligence services, stressing the importance of these committees carrying out their duties in achieving security and stability, and adopting policies that ensure the integration of all military and security forces under a unified national leadership,” said the statement carried by the Saba news agency.

Mr Hadi handed all executive powers to the newly formed Presidential Council last month after removing his vice president, Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, from office.

The eight-member council includes powerful political and military figures — some involved in the continuing civil war with the Houthi rebel group.

Maj Gen Aidarous Al Zubaidi, the deputy head of the council who also heads the Southern Transitional Council, told The National last month that the council would form bodies to audit and oversee spending. This, he said, was in an attempt to clamp down on corruption in the liberated areas of Yemen.

Yemen’s warring parties met in the Jordanian capital Amman last week to discuss lifting a blockade by the rebels of the country’s third largest city of Taez. The talks were inconclusive.

Lifting the siege is one of the conditions of a two-month UN-brokered truce that began on April 2. Government figures have said it is essential to prospects of extending the nationwide ceasefire, the first in more than six years.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, has voiced hope that the truce could lead to a political solution to the civil war that began when the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.

Updated: May 30, 2022, 4:04 PM