Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

A week on, Aden returns to normal after clashes

Residents said they hope the fighting will lead to serious dialogue to resolve issues

A week after deadly clashes erupted between pro-government forces and fighters loyal to the Southern Transitional Council in Aden, life is tentatively returning to normal.

Almost all state institutions opened their doors as usual at the end of the Eid Al Adha holiday last week.

“We kept working day and night to prevent any fuel crises not to emerge in such critical times,” Yaser Abdo, the deputy human resources manager in the Yemeni Oil company, told The National.

“We had very hard times as the clashes erupted. Transferring the fuel from the tanks at the Aden refinery to the stations was the biggest obstacle we faced due to the fierce confrontations – consequently, we worked hard with all the parties to stop our trucks of being targeted,” he said. “This enabled us to keep the fuel available in all the fuel stations in Aden and in the liberated provinces,” Mr Abdo said.

The Central Bank of Yemen resumed normal operations on Sunday.

“We resumed our work normally because the bank headquarters weren’t exposed to any destruction amid the clashes and all the parties pledged to keep the bank away from the conflict, this removed our fears and encouraged us to resume our duty as ever,” a bank official told The National on condition of anonymity.

Since the fighting, the bank has been trying to stabilise the value of the Yemeni riyal to stop sharp devaluation in the already deflated currency.

In the city, people hoped the fighting would bring renewed attention to the deep issues in the country, lead to solutions and end months of underlying tensions between the government and the STC.

“We hope that the last round of confrontations will be a major step towards a long-term solution through the Saudi sponsored dialogue which is supposed to start in Jeddah soon,” Ali Mohammed, a teacher at Aden University, told The National.

“The accumulated problems must be properly addressed at the dialogue table, the government should carefully listen to the leaders of the STC as partners because they have been leading a significant role in the fight against the Houthi militia along with the Arab Coalition, ignoring their role will lead to more complications,” Mr Mohmmed said.

As quiet has returned to the city, the usual hustle and bustle has returned, with markets springing back and families enjoying the summer weather at beach clubs and in parks, and enjoying a late Eid after clashes interrupted the holiday while flocks of cleaners clear the streets of any sign of conflict.

Updated: August 21, 2019 12:29 PM

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