Yemen: Aden welcomes newly appointed governor

Citizens optimistic that Ahmed Lamlas can fix shattered infrastructure

Ahmed Hamed Lamlas (C), the new governor of Aden, embraces a man at Aden International Airport in the southern Yemeni city on August 27, 2020. Yemen's southern separatists said on August 26 they had withdrawn from talks over a Saudi-sponsored power-sharing deal with the internationally recognised government, in the latest setback for the troubled process. The plan called for the Yemeni prime minister to form a new government within 30 days, as well as the appointment of a new governor and security director for the second city Aden, where the government is now based. / AFP / Saleh Al-OBEIDI

The newly appointed governor of Aden arrived in the city on Thursday to begin easing the suffering of its residents by tackling the deteriorating public services.

Ahmed Lamlas, who was sworn in by Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi on August 11, flew in from Riyadh.

"We came back to Aden to work with love and loyalty," Mr Lamlas said as he arrived at the airport.

“Our priority is tackling the worsening public services in the city which we all know was a theatre for many wars and conflicts that fully devastated its infrastructure."

Mr Lamlas said public service improvements in Aden were being supported by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction programme and the Yemeni government.

He will move into his new office next Sunday and outline his plans to tackle Aden’s problems, a source said.

“The power and the water shortages will be at the top of the list of his priorities,” the source said.

Mr Lamlas's arrival was met with optimism by locals.

“Everybody in Aden is happy with the appointment of Mr Lamlas as new governor for Aden because we already know him,” Nafea bin Kuleib, who lives in Al Mansoura city in Aden, told The National.

“He is accepted by all parties and well known for his tireless efforts and for his adequate management.

“We will spare no effort to help him do his job, which is not going to be easy. He has lots to do.”

The appointment of Mr Lamlas is a major step towards implementing the power-sharing deal between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council to end a year-long standoff.

But just a day before Mr Lamlas’s arrival, the STC announced it was suspending its participation in the negotiations with the government.

It said its reasons included the recent escalation by pro-government forces in Abyan province, the collapse of the national currency and worsening public services in liberated provinces.

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