Former Emirati mercenaries block key road in protest against lack of payment

Former Emirati mercenaries block key road in protest against lack of payment

Dozens of Shabwah Elite militia elements have on Thursday cut off the international road between the provinces of Shabwah and Hadramaut, eastern Yemen.

Local sources reported that the militants blocked the international road near the Balhaf gas facility in the coastal district of Radhoum, which the UAE has turned into a military base since 2016, in protest against their dismissal and the removal of their names from the lists of recipients of Emirati rewards.

The armed elements, exceeding more than 3,000 people, detained a number of tankers and trucks coming from Hadhramaut via the coastal road and prevented them from heading to Ataq city in Shabwah, due to the failure of the commander of the UAE forces and the governor of Shabwah to pay their wages according to promises to them during last February, according to the sources.

The Shabwah Elite members called for a protest demonstration next Saturday in front of the Balhaf facility, which the UAE uses as the headquarters of its military command.

In mid February, the Elite members, who had been dismissed by the UAE, set up a military point in the Balhaf area, preventing trucks loaded with goods from entering the city of Ataq, the capital of Shabwa.

This comes after the UAE brought in brigades loyal to warlord Tariq Afash from the western coast and Qarat al-Faris camp, under the name Shabwah Defence Force, which extended its control over the districts of the province.