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Yemen: the presidential palace in Aden at the hands of separatists, the country is sinking ever deeper into chaos
Separator fighters of the "Cordon of Security", supported by the United Arab Emirates, patrol in Aden on Saturday 10 August. FAWAZ SALMAN / REUTERS

Already devastated by five years of civil war, Yemen sank further into chaos on Saturday August 10 with the seizure of the presidential palace in Aden by separatist fighters, after ¨ Several days of clashes in the big city in the south of the country.

If it is a mostly symbolic take – President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is in Saudi Arabia – it marks a turning point in the clashes that are shaking Aden since Wednesday. "We took the palace to the presidential guard forces without a fight"assured Agence France-Presse (AFP) a spokesman for a separatist military force called "Cordon de Sécurità ©".

According to military and security sources, separatist fighters had already seized earlier in the day the three barracks of government forces in Aden, where loyalist power has Its headquarters have been established since the country's historic capital, Sanaa, in the north, is in the hands of the Houthi rebels.

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Since Wednesday, there have been clashes between these separatist fighters and government soldiers, all of which, in theory, have been allied since 2015 in a coalition led by the Saudi government in Riyadh. the mirad government of Abu Dhabi. This clandestine Arab-Sunni coalition fights in the north of the country against Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

Fighting in Aden between 'Cordon de Securità ©' separatist elements (backed by the United Arab Emirates) and government troops have killed at least 18 people â € "combatants and civilians â €" ", According to doctors and sources of security. According to the Médecins sans frontières (MSF) organization, more than 75 wounded people have been treated in a hospital run by this NGO since Friday.

"Coup d'état against legitimate institutions"

Before even the presidential palace fell, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami of the Hadi government had sentenced on Twitter a "Coup d'état against legitimate institutions" of Yemen.

Foreign Minister Abdallah Ben Zayed told AFP "Very worried" and affirmed "To make every effort possible to calm the situation and lead to a disintegration". He called on the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to do the same, according to a statement to the official WAM news agency. "The important thing is to intensify the efforts of all parties on the main front", the one against the Houthists, he added.

The Yemeni government on Thursday called Saudi Arabia and the UAE "Pressing urgently" on those supporters of an independent Southern Yemen "To prevent" any military escalation.

South Yemen was an independent state until 1990. In the South, there is strong resentment against the Yemeni natives of the North, who are accused of having imposed by the force the unification of the country. To this North-South hostility is now added the conflict within the inherited coalition formed at the beginning to defend the government.

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This is not the first time that Southern Transition Council (STC) separatists – which include the "Cordon of Security" forces – are not the first. â € " oppose loyal units to President Hadi. In January already, fighting between separatists and forces loyal to the president had left at least 38 dead, and the situation was not calmed until after a concerted intervention. Saudi-Ã © miratie.

Clashes in Aden make the situation of a country in which tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, have already died in the aftermath of the civil war, a bit more inextricable, according to various humanitarian organizations .

Yemen is now facing the risk of a "Civil war in civil war" already ravaging the country, estimated in a report the NGO International Crisis Group (ICG). About 3.3 million people are still displaced and 24.1 million, or more than two thirds of the population, need assistance, according to the United Nations (UN).

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