Yemen’s Presidential Council to Restructure Army, Security Forces

Yemen’s Presidential Council has formed a military commission to restructure the army and security apparatus, according to a statement released on Monday.

The goal of the newly approved military and security committee is to prevent internal clashes within Yemeni forces and create a unified joint command, the council said in a statement released after a meeting chaired by its President, General Rashad Al Alimi.

The council said the decision was in line with Article 5 of the agreement announced last month in Riyadh on the transfer of power from Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

The 59-member committee will be headed by Major General Haitham Qassem Taher, with Major General Taher Ali Al Aqili as deputy. It includes Brigadier General Hussein Al Hayal, a former chief of staff to the defense minister, the council said.

“The council also agreed to form a committee to assess and restructure the intelligence services, stressing the importance for these committees to carry out their duties in achieving security and stability, and to adopt policies which guarantee the integration of all military and security forces into a unified national leadership,” said the statement carried by the Saba news agency.

Mr Hadi handed over all executive powers to the newly formed Presidential Council last month after removing his deputy chairman, Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar.

The eight-member council includes powerful political and military figures, some of whom are involved in the ongoing civil war with the Houthi rebel group.

Major General Aidarous Al Zubaidi, deputy head of the council who also leads the Southern Transitional Council, said The National last month that the council would form bodies to audit and oversee spending. This is, he said, an attempt to crack down on corruption in the liberated areas of Yemen.

Yemen’s warring parties met last week in Jordan’s capital Amman to discuss lifting the rebels’ blockade of the country’s third-largest city, Taez. The talks were unsuccessful.

The lifting of the siege is one of the conditions of a two-month UN-brokered truce that began on April 2. Government figures said it was essential to extend the nationwide ceasefire, the first in more than six years.

UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has expressed hope that the truce could lead to a political solution to the civil war that began when the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014 .

Updated: May 30, 2022, 4:04 p.m.

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Kevin E. Boling