Yemeni president swears in STC secretary general as Aden governor

The move comes as efforts resume to implement the Riyadh agreement and mean the rift between long time allies

Ahmed Hamid Lamlis takes the constitutional oath in front of Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi after his appointment as governor of Aden Governorate, in the south of the country. Courtesy Office of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi
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The secretary general of Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council Ahmed Hamid Lamlas was sworn in as governor of Aden by President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi on Tuesday marking a major step towards implementing a power-sharing deal.

The move comes days before the STC and the government resume talks to implement a power sharing agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia in Riyadh to end a standoff between the two long-time allies over accusations of corruption and negligence by some Islamist ministers in the administration.

Mr Lamlas was sworn in by President Hadi in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the state run news agency Saba and STC sources reported. The source added that Mr Lamlas will remain in Riyadh for few days to hold meetings with officials before he gets back to Aden to start his job as a new governor for the city.

The implementation of the Riyadh deal would see STC ministers appointed to Cabinet.

"The STC delegation taking part in the negotiations with the government will fly back to Riyadh [Wednesday] or Thursday to resume the negotiation process with the government to name a new cabinet in line with the Riyadh agreement," the STC source told The National.

A government source told The National that President Hadi met with Mr Lamlas to stress the importance of exerting every effort to normalise the situation in the de-facto Yemeni capital and revive the deteriorated public services in the city.

“President Hadi spoke to the newly appointed governor reiterating on the importance …of stability and reconstruction,” the government source said. “We hope all efforts come together to help the new governor to do his job perfectly. Unifying efforts is a key point to overcoming the difficulties and paving the way to form a unified front to fight the Houthi rebels,” the source added.

President Hadi announced the intention to name Mr Lamlas as Aden’s governor on July 29 and named Brig Gen Mohammed Al Hamdi the city’s new police chief at the same time. The move was intended to accelerate efforts to implement the stalled Riyadh agreement hashed out in December 2019 to end fighting between STC and government forces in the south of Yemen.

People in Aden wait optimistically for action to tackle power and water shortages as well as deteriorating public services.

"I am really optimistic as Mr Lamlas was appointed as a new governor for Aden. He is widely respected and he has worked in Aden for years before but I sympathise with him because lots of accumulated problems await him," Muneer Mohammed, a resident from Al Tawahi district in Aden, told The National.