Yemen's Marib Governate to withhold oil revenues from Houthis
An oil refinery in Yemen's port city of Aden. (AFP/File)
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A local government-run oil company in Marib has been asked by the governor to continue to withhold oil revenues and not send them to the Al Houthi-controlled capital.
Ali Al Ghoulais, governor Sultan Al Aradeh’s media secretary, told Gulf News on Tuesday that the governor alerted President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi about his decision and said that he would transfer the revenue to any branch of the central bank that is not controlled by the Iran-backed Al Houthis.
The Marib province has generated revenue by selling oil in the local market.
The media secretary said the governor’s decision prompted Al Houthis to cut salaries for the army in Marib.
“I expect they will stop paying public servants in Marib next year, if this continues,” Ali Al Ghoulais said.Riyadh has promised to step in to pay the salaries for the army if this happens. Local tribes in Marib have fiercely resisted Al Houthis’ advance and managed to keep them on the outskirts of the province. Local army forces and tribal leaders have been able to gain ground since a Saudi-led coalition stepped in with well-trained forces equipped with sophisticated arms. Al Ghoulais said government forces have approached the town of Serwah, an area which is still under Al Houthi control.
Residents in Marib accuse retreating Al Houthi militants of planting landmines that have claimed the lives of innocent civilians.
So far, 17 civilians have been killed by Al Houthi landmines and 21 others injured.
“Al Houthis carpeted Marib with landmines,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Shabwa province, local authorities are trying to get oil and gas companies to share their revenues to help finance the electricity and security sectors.
Mohsen Al Haj, a spokesperson for the governor of Shabwa, told Gulf Newsthat the province is suffering from fuel and electricity shortages, despite being rich in oil and gas.
Southern Resistance fighters, allied with coalition troops and the Yemeni government, have pushed Al Houthis out of Shabwa to the borders of Marib, but Al Houthis still control the Bahyan district.
By Saeed Al Batati
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