Hadi ministers to return in new boost for Yemen

As stability is restored in Aden, the exiled government will leave Riyadh and begin rebuilding country from the new 'capital', Mohammed Al Qalisi reports.

A soldier gestures as he rides in the back of a pick-up truck accompanying Gulf Arab soldiers arriving in Yemen's northern province of Marib on September 8. Reuters
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Aden // The Yemeni government will return to the country next week after they were driven into exile in Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels.
President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, however, will not be joining his ministers until a later date, his chief of staff, Mohammed Marem, told The National.
"All ministers will return to Aden next week to resume their work from inside Yemen," said Mr Marem, the most senior official from Mr Hadi's government still in Yemen.
The return of the government would provide a boost to forces fighting to push back Houthi rebels to the north. The Iran-backed militants seized control of the capital, Sanaa, a year ago, before launching an assault south into Aden and forcing Mr Hadi's government into exile in Riyadh in March.
But with support from UAE troops and a bombing campaign by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition, the rebels have been driven back from the southern provinces and relative security has been restored to Aden.
The port city has in effect become the country's capital as Arabian Gulf troops and Yemeni forces loyal to Mr Hadi prepare to drive the Houthis from Sanaa.
Mr Maram previously said the only obstacle that was stopping the return of the cabinet to Aden was the reconstruction of buildings to be used as ministries that had been damaged in the fighting.
The minister of information, Nadia Al Sakkaf has said Aden could serve as the capital of Yemen for the next five years, depending on the security situation in Sanaa.
Aden's residents on Tuesday welcomed the news that government ministers would soon be returning.
Ihab Zaher, 23, a construction engineer, said the security situation in Aden is now stable enough for their return.
"The government has to return to Aden to make us feel that there is an authority near to us and it can control the country from the inside," Mr Zaher said.
He added that having a government in the city would help people get back to work and provide them with their basic needs.
"I think the beginning will be difficult for the government as there is much work that needs to be done in Aden and other provinces,'' said Raneem Salem, 36, a broadcaster in Aden's state-run radio. Aden's residents are looking for normal life to return again, she said.
A number of Mr Hadi's government ministers visited Aden last month to assess the situation before returning to Riyadh.
Mohammed Al Hassani, a political analyst based in Aden, said a permanent return of the government would send a strong message to Yemenis that Hadi loyalists are trying to solve the country's problems.
"The minsters are Yemeni people and they should be in their country otherwise the people will mistrust them if they do not participate in the suffering of normal people,'' he said.
It would also help defeat the Houthis psychologically, he added, with the ministers able to do more to remove the Houthis from Sanaa and the other provinces under their control.
"This step will increase the legitimacy of the Hadi supporters," Mr Al Hassani said.
In another boost to the city, Mr Marem said Aden's airport would reopen to foreign airlines next week after it was closed during the Houthi assault and only used by Yemeni airlines in recent weeks.
Emirates, Flydubai, and Egyptian were among those expected to resume flights to Aden, he said.
foreign.desk@thenational.ae