Aden to be declared capital of Yemen for next five years: official


Aden and Al-Hudaydah, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemen’s internationally recognized government is planning to declare the southern port city of Aden as the country’s capital for the next five years, according to the city’s governor.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday, Nayef Al-Bakri said this was due to Aden’s possessing the “necessary economic and geographical constituents” to become the focal point of the rebuilding of the country following the crisis that has gripped Yemen for almost a year.

Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi movement occupied the capital Sana’a. Fighting between forces loyal to exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, known as the Popular Resistance, and the Houthis and their allies, has since spread across the country.

This follows recent similar comments from Yemen’s Information Minister Nadia Al-Saqqaf. Speaking last week on the local Belqees satellite TV channel, she also said Hadi would be visiting Aden in the coming days.

However, a government source told Asharq Al-Awsat President Hadi had not yet issued an official decision on declaring Aden the country’s capital.

Aden was liberated from Houthi control last month by the Popular Resistance. Several government ministers have already returned to the city.

A series of victories for the Popular Resistance in the country’s south have followed the recapture of Aden.

Aided by an Arab Saudi-led coalition targeting the Houthis, pro-Hadi forces on Saturday said they had expelled the Houthis from Shabwah province, the group’s last remaining stronghold in the country’s south.

Local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat the Houthis had now completely withdrawn from the province and that it was fully under the control of Hadi loyalists.