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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Hadi appoints several new ministers to his cabinet

The governor of Aden joins the government as minster of youth and sports.
Yemen's president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi seen in a file photo. AP
Yemen's president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi seen in a file photo. AP
ADEN // Yemen's president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has made changes to his cabinet, appointing several new ministers, among them Aden's governor.

Saif Muhsin Aboud Al Sharif was appointed oil minister on Monday while Aden governor Nayef Al Bakri became minister of youth and sports, replacing Rafat Al Akhali. Mr Al Bakri's replacement as Aden governor was still undecided on Tuesday.

Nasser Ba'aom, a surgeon and former undersecretary of health, also became the minister of health and population, replacing Riyadh Yaseen.

Mr Al Sharif, a former official at state-run oil company Safer, replaced Mohammed Nabhan as oil minister.

The government, in Riyadh since March after being forced to flee an offensive by Houthi rebels, has said it plans to return to Yemen in the coming months. Government loyalists backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition liberated Aden from the Houthis last July.

Fadhl Al Rabei, the head of Madar Strategic Studies Center in Aden, told The National that Aden's residents are not satisfied with the government being based in Riyadh. In interviews, residents said they wanted the government to return and focus on reconstruction and pay salaries to state employees.

On Tuesday, members of the southern resistance demonstrated in the streets, demanding Mr Al Bakri return to governing Aden. Though he is controversial among some people in Aden, Mr Al Bakri, the former head of the resistance council, has the support of many anti-Houthi fighters.

He has claimed to be so loyal to Yemen that he would even work as a cleaner to serve his country.

Mr Al Rabie said that the longer the government stays outside of Yemen the more it risks citizens questioning its intentions.

Mr Al Rabie added that Mr Hadi's cabinet was likely to see more changes in the near future because some citizens blamed government mismanagement for allowing the Houthis to capture parts of the country.

"Aden's residents want Hadi to appoint new ministers, who can serve the country and can manage to free the other provinces from the Houthis", Mr Al Rabie said.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae