Yemen gov’t returns to Aden under power-sharing deal

ADEN, Yemen

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik and his government ministers returned to the port city of Aden on Monday under a power-sharing deal with southern separatists.

“Abdulmalik and five ministers returned to Aden in implementation of the Riyadh agreement,” a government source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The ministers had planned to arrive in Aden last week, but their return was delayed due to differences over interpreting the terms of the deal.

The deal, signed by the government and the United Arab Emirates-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), aims to end the conflict over several southern cities, including Aden.

The agreement states that STC shares half of the portfolios of the Cabinet that should not exceed 24 ministers and ensures its participation in the government delegation for consultations on the final political solution with Houthi rebels.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

*Ibahim Mukhtar contributed to this report from Ankara
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