Daylight Robbery: UAE Issues Emirati ID Cards for Residents of Yemen’s Socotra


Daylight Robbery: UAE Issues Emirati ID Cards for Residents of Yemen’s Socotra

By Staff, Agencies

The United Arab Emirates [UAE], which is occupying Yemen’s Socotra Island, has reportedly issued ID cards for a number of residents of the strategic island in a bid to change their identity.

Citing multiple local sources, the pan-Arab al-Araby al-Jadeed media outlet reported on Friday that only the new ID cards are the basis of the UAE’s interaction with Socotra inhabitants.

The Emirati-issued cards are recognized for trips to Abu Dhabi and give their holders privileges, they added.

At the bottom of the cards a 15-digit code is written in English, whose composition is completely consistent with the ID cards that the UAE uses for its nationals and the people residing in the Gulf country.

The ID cards are issued by the so-called caliphate’s human rights body, but they have no traces of the institution.

A Socotra official said the Emirati body, which claims to advocate human rights, has turned into a military, security and intelligence agency that violates Yemen’s national sovereignty under the pretext of humanitarian measures.

The body’s staff are all security officers and members of the UAE army who spy on the Socotra residents and those who travel to the island, he added.

The Socotra official also noted that the people who received the cards were paid by the UAE to publicize them in Socotra, citing Mohammad Salem Ahmed, the director of the island’s ports, as an example.

This step, he added, was taken in line with the initial efforts to measure the reaction of the people in Socotra and Yemen, so that if the project is successful, the ID cards will be issued for all residents in the future in a bid to officially announce the island’s alleged connection with the UAE.

He said the Yemenis do not have a tab on foreigners entering Socotra as it is the UAE that issues entry and exit permits for all travelers whether businessmen, experts or military personnel.

Yemeni social activist, Jalal Mohsen al-Socotri, said people are worried as the UAE is forcing the Socotra residents to stop identifying themselves as Yemeni.

“This issue threatens all the people of Socotra, who previously fought to expel [the Emiratis] from the island,” he said.

“The life of the Socotra inhabitants has become a nightmare; they wake up every day and see the evil plots of the UAE. The UAE imposes its rules on them and surrounds them with foreigners and camps. The country has even replaced the island’s workers with foreigners in tourist facilities and private hospitals.”

Home to some 60,000 people, Socotra overlooks the Bab el-Mandib Strait, a main shipping route that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. It has a unique ecosystem and been listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site.

Last June, the UAE-backed separatists of the so-called Southern Transitional Council [STC] took control of the resource-rich island in a move described as a “coup” by the regime of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Now, the Emiratis have a military base on Socotra that is used to collect intelligence on maritime traffic in the Bab el-Mandib and the Gulf of Aden. Moreover, they are reportedly working with the ‘Israelis’ to set up spy bases on the Yemeni island.

The occupation of Socotra came two months after the UAE-backed separatists broke with once-allied Saudi-sponsored pro-Hadi militants in Yemen, saying they would establish a self-ruled administration in the war-torn country’s southern regions.

The infighting has dealt a blow to the Riyadh-led military coalition, which has been engaged in a deadly military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 with the aim of reinstalling Hadi in Sana’a.


South Front

For the first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia is establishing a naval base close to vital maritime supply lines.

The Russian government revealed on November 11 that Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved a draft agreement on creating a naval logistics base in Sudan and gave instructions to submit a proposal to the president on signing the document.  The draft deal was submitted by the Defense Ministry, approved by the Foreign Ministry, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee of Russia and was preliminarily agreed to by the Sudanese side.

According to the agreement, the Russian Navy’s logistics facility in Sudan “meets the goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region, is defensive and is not aimed against other countries.” The base can be used for carrying out repairs and replenishing supplies and for the crewmembers of Russian naval ships to have a rest. The logistics base is expected to embrace the coastal, water and mooring areas.” The Sudanese side has the right to use the mooring area upon agreement with the authorized body of the Russian side,” the document reads.

The text says that a maximum of four warships may stay at the naval logistics base, including “naval ships with a nuclear propulsion system on condition of observing nuclear and environmental safety norms.” Also, Russia will reportedly deliver weapons and military hardware to Sudan in order maintain the air defense of the Port Sudan area, where the Russian naval facility would be located.

The military-technical and security cooperation between Russia and Sudan has significantly increased since 2017. The creation of the Russian naval base there is a logical step to develop this cooperation. It should be noted that the Russian base in Syria’s Tartus also had the name of a ‘logistical facility’ before it was transformed into a fully-fledged naval base.

If this project is fully implemented, this will contribute to the rapid growth of Russian influence in Africa. Russian naval forces will also be able to increase their presence in the Red Sea and in the area between the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. Both of these areas are the core of the current maritime energy supply routes. The naval facility will allow Russians to resupply their naval group in the region more effectively and increase the strength of their forces. For example, at least one Russian naval group regularly operates as a part of the anti-piracy mission near Somalia and in the Indian Ocean in general.

The new base will also serve as a foothold of Russia in the case of a standoff with naval forces of NATO member states that actively use their military infrastructure in Djibouti to project power in the region. The increased presence of the Russians in the Red Sea is also a factor that could affect the Saudi-Houthi conflict. If the Russian side opts to indirectly support the Iranian-Houthi coalition, the situation for the Saudi Kingdom will become even more complicated. Its operations to block and pressure the Houthi-controlled port of al-Hudaydah would become much less effective.

It is expected that the United States (regardless of the administration in the White House) will try to prevent the Russian expansion in the region at any cost. For an active foreign policy of Russia, the creation of the naval facility in Sudan surpasses all public and clandestine actions in Libya in recent years. From the point of view of protecting Russian national interests in the Global Oceans, this step is even more important than the creation of the permanent air and naval bases in Syria.

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Chinese Navy showcases strength near Yemeni coast: video


By News Desk -2020-07-06

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – Chinese television broadcast released a video of Chinese naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden, which is located between the coasts of Yemen and Djibouti.

Three warships reportedly conducted exercises to showcase their capabilities to deal with multiple security threats and accomplish various military tasks near the Yemeni territorial waters.

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