Saudi Arabia to donate $10B towards Yemen reconstruction
Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called on his government to focus on power, water, roads, health and education in retaken areas. (AFP/File)
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Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has earmarked $10 billion (SR37.5 billion) in aid for the reconstruction of provinces retaken from Houthi rebels.
Hadi said the Kingdom had allocated $10 billion “for the reconstruction of liberated provinces, including $2 billion as a deposit in the central bank to shore up the (Yemeni) riyal,” the Saba news agency reported.
The president, speaking in the government’s temporary southern capital of Aden, called on his government to focus on power, water, roads, health and education in retaken areas.
Pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition took back five southern provinces from Iran-backed rebels in 2015, but Houthis still control the capital and much of northern Yemen.
Meanwhile, a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis on Wednesday killed the deputy chief of staff of the country’s military, officials said.
Houthi forces struck the vehicle of Brig. Gen. Ahmed Seif Al-Yafie in the Red Sea port of Al-Mokha, the Saba news agency quoted Houthis as saying.
Yemeni military officials said the missile hit a gathering point for the military commanders. A total of seven officers were killed, including Al-Yafie, and 25 were wounded, they said. A colonel also died in the attack, according to the online Arabic-language Aden Al-Ghad newspaper. It said that the bodies of several officers who died in the attack along with Al-Yafie arrived at a hospital in Aden, where the government is based.
“(Al-Yafie) was killed along with several others when the missile hit the camp near Al-Mokha city early this morning,” a military source, who is also a member of the general’s family, told Reuters.
Hadi’s presidential office said in a statement carried by the government-run news agency that Al-Yafei died “while carrying out his heroic role of liberating the remainder of the Al-Mokha district” from the Houthis. It gave no further details.
Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Dagher expressed condolences on Twitter after the attack, saying the “end of the enemy is near.”
Al-Yafie, the most senior Yemeni officer killed in the country’s civil war, was loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which has been battling the Houthis and their allies since 2015.
Separately, dozens of Houthis and Saleh’s militiamen were killed in the battles in Al-Mokha.
The media center for Command of Taiz announced on its Facebook page that dozens of coup militias, including a field leader named Al-Ganes, were killed during the battle to liberate Al-Nar Mountain.
The center confirmed the destruction of rocket launchers during coalition raids on Khaled Camp near Muazzaa, west of Taiz.
Al-Mokha, a strategic Red Sea port, witnessed intense fighting between Houthis and allied forces loyal to the ousted President Ali
Abdullah Saleh, and the Saudi-led coalition and pro-government forces, mostly southern fighters.
Hadi supporters, backed by Gulf Arab troops, captured Al-Mokha last month after weeks of heavy fighting around the small port city that had once served as a main port for exporting coffee.
Al-Mokha lies close to the Bab Al-Mandab strait through which much of the world’s oil passes.
On Tuesday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen warned of an escalation in the fighting along Yemen’s western coast, “at a great cost to civilians.”
He said over 17 million people are “unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals — women and girls eat the least and last.”
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