On Wednesday, reports came through of a huge explosion in the southern city of Aden. This comes shortly after the new Cabinet landed there, as the officials reported. There were more than 130 casualties during the attack, where at least 25 people died and 110 seriously wounded. The rebels fired 4 ballistic missiles. Later, a Saudi-owned TV Channel reported another explosion in Aden, which prompted several Cabinet members’ transfer.
In the recent past, there has been a widening rift between the Yemeni President and the separatists, which have huge backing from the UAE. However, it is important to note that the Yemeni president and the separatists have been allies since the civil war years.
The footage recorded at the airport showed members of the government delegation rushing for safety, some going back to the plane, in what seemed to be a lot of confusion. During this time, people could see thick smoke billowing from nearby buildings, with bodies scattered all over the place. Naguib al-Awg, the Communication Minister, who was part of the delegation, told the AP that the two explosions could probably be drone strikes. Al-Wag indicates that it would have been a terrible disaster if the plane was bombed.
In what is feared to be a bigger death toll than initially reported, three Red Cross workers, two Yemeni nationals, and a Rwandese were killed. Further, Yemeni Belqees television reported that one of its reporters was also killed in the attack. At least 10 journalists were also wounded, ICRC Director of Operations terming it as a “tragic day for ICRC and the people of Yemen.” The Minister for Foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, further noted that that attack was meant to ruin the power sharing deal initiated between the Yemeni government and the Southern separatists. The US, Egypt, Jordan, and other nations also condemned the attack as unfortunate and uncalled for.
Part of the power-sharing deal was naming a new government. Sources say that this was one of the major motives of the attack, as indicated earlier. Despite the attack, Hadi’s government faces numerous challenges, including the dispute between the government and the UAE-backed separatists. The preceding events also indicated a sustained chain of events whose motive has not been well established. In 2019, a missile was fired by the Houthis in a military parade where dozens were killed. Earlier in 2015, the then Yemeni Prime Minister, together with his government members, survived a missile attack that was also blamed on the Houthis.
Yemen has continued to suffer the effects of civil wars, which has made it poorer and ungovernable. This comes as early as 2014 to date. In 2014, the Houthis overtook Sanaa and the North, which caused a lot of damage. In 2015, the Yemeni Government led a military coalition with some of its partner nations to wage war against the Houthis. Over the years, the war has escalated as plans to restore Hadi’s government to full power and control of Yemen. The sustained wars have killed more than 110,000 people, both military men, and civilians.