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Yemen Interior Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: Riyadh Has Helped Ministry Restore Operation

Yemen Interior Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: Riyadh Has Helped Ministry Restore Operation

Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 - 08:30
A Yemeni army soldier stands guard as he secures a street in Mansoura, Yemen. (Reuters)

Yemen Interior Minister Ahmed al-Maysari praised Saudi Arabia for supporting his ministry, crediting it with helping it restore normal operation.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Had it not been for its support to the government, the Interior Ministry in particular, the ministry would still be weak and the outlaw militias would have grown in power.”

He credited the Kingdom with providing logistic and technical help to his ministry, revealing that the upcoming phase will witness effective steps on the ground to reintroduce security measures in the liberated regions.

“We are determined to rebuild the Interior Ministry, especially its infrastructure,” Maysari stressed.

So far, 80 percent of the necessary human workforce to operate the ministry has been recruited, which will enable it to perform its duties in the liberated regions.

The current situation is going according to the ministry’s plan for 2018, he stated.

By the end of the year, it would have completed all structural and administrative measures and imposed its authority on liberated areas.

The next mission will be enabling it to impose its authority in preserving security and “we will exert all of our efforts to achieve that,” he declared.

“Restoring security and stability will positively affect Yemen and return life to normal in all cities. This will in turn prompt the return of diplomats and journalists,” Maysari continued.

The Interior Ministry has regained functioning despite the damage it has incurred in the war. It is now assuming its duties in marine borders and ports, passport and traffic control and combating drug smuggling, terrorism and crime.

The Ministry boasts some 50,000 employees, including 35,000 officers and 15,000 resistance members operating in various provinces.

Asked about the trials of arrested suspects, Maysari said that there are 1,500 detainees imprisoned in government jails. They are held on criminal offenses and the Ministry is working on referring them to trial and the judiciary.

Terrorist crimes need a concerned court to tackle them, the minister explained.

The terrorism file is being handled by the counter-terrorism bureau, which coordinates its work with the national security and the political security agencies, he explained. These two agencies tackle national security throughout Yemen.

The Interior Ministry’s counter-terrorism bureau is responsible for tracking down terrorists on the ground, Maysari told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He highlighted the role of the Arab Coalition in countering terror as well, especially in the temporary capital Aden. It played a prominent role in tracking down several terror group members.

Moreover, he credited his Ministry with eliminating several terror group leaders during various security operations, which were backed by the Coalition.

Efforts are still however needed to eliminate all the terrorists, who still remain Yemen, but whose numbers have dwindled.

He vowed that the Ministry will track down the terrorists wherever they may flee to in Yemen.

Since the Houthi coup three years ago, the so-called al-Qaeda and ISIS terror organizations have never launched an attack against the insurgents in areas that they control. The terrorists have limited their attacks to regions under the control of the legitimacy forces, noted Maysari.

This is damning evidence that the Houthis, Qaeda and ISIS all have the same backer, Iran, concluded the minister.

On the political level, he stressed that the Arab Coalition and Yemeni army must win the battle on the ground before heading to dialogue.

The recaptured territories are worthless if Sanaa is not liberated, he added.

Sanaa is currently controlled by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The militias and their backers must be “struck down with an iron fist and the government will comply with any efforts that will avert tragedies in Yemen.”

“These militias only understand force, which the Arab Coalition and national army both possess,” said the Interior Minister.

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