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Yemen minister threatens to break off UAE relations over setting up separatist militias Open in fullscreen

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Yemen minister threatens to break off UAE relations over setting up separatist militias

UAE-backed southern separatists seize much of Aden last month [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2018

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A Yemeni minister has accused the United Arab Emirates of trying to fragment the country by creating separate "regional and tribal armies" in the south.

A Yemeni minister has accused the United Arab Emirates of trying to fragment the country by creating separate "regional and tribal armies" in the south.

Saleh al-Jabwani attacked the UAE on Sunday in a press conference after Emirati-backed troops cut off his convoy and warned that his government could break off ties with Abu Dhabi.

"The situation in the south is very bad, there are tribal armies and gangs set-up the UAE," the transport minister said.

"The state will not allow this situation to continue. We must correct the situation and have the UAE be an ally of the government only or else we will make a political decision that this partnership has taken the wrong course," Jabwani said.

He added that the troops were part of the so-called Shabwa Elite Force, one of several units that only answer to the UAE.

Deadly clashes in Aden last month that saw UAE-backed southern separatists seize much of the strategic coastal city from the Saudi-backed government.

The armed uprising has dimmed prospects of the coalition between the internationally recognised government and a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE fighting rebels known as the Houthis.

Yemen has been engulfed in a civil war since 2015, with the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis to restore the internationally recognised government to power.

The UN has labelled Yemen the world's worst humanitarian disaster, tallying more than 9,200 fatalities since the Saudi-led coalition intervened.

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