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The UAE is withholding cash from its Yemeni allies Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

The UAE is withholding cash from its Yemeni allies

Pro-government forces control most port cities in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 March, 2018

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The United Arab Emirates is barring Ships carrying some 170 billion Yemeni rials ($680 million) from entering the southern port of Aden, Yemeni officials revealed.
Ships carrying some 170 billion Yemeni rials ($680 million) are being barred from entering the southern port of Aden by the United Arab Emirates, Yemeni officials said on Wednesday.

The vessels are carrying salaries of government employees who haven't been paid for over a year, the officials, including one from the Yemeni central bank, said. 

They were speaking on condition of anonymity 

The officials said the UAE had in the past prevented aircraft carrying cash from landing at Aden's airport.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE.

The UAE is a key player in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels, who control most of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

However, the Emiratis largely control Aden - a southern coastal port city and the temporary capital of the war-torn country.

The coalition is fighting on the side of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government, but the UAE has long been at odds with Hadi, with each side running its own armed groups in a power struggle across southern Yemen.

The latest developments come nearly a year after Hadi ordered the relocation of the Central Bank to Aden. Since then, his rivals have accused him of stashing cash in private banks and in the presidential palace, allegations denied by the government.

The unpaid salaries have crippled Yemen's public sector amid three years of grinding war. Malnutrition, cholera, and other diseases have killed thousands of civilians, and millions have come to depend on humanitarian assistance for survival.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen war since 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition joined the government's fight against the rebels.

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