Exclusive - Shabwa Governor: Without Arab Coalition, Yemen Would Have Turned into Iranian State
Governor of Yemen’s Shabwa province Mohammed Saleh bin Adeow hailed the Saudi-led Arab coalition on its role in combating terrorism and the Iran-backed Houthi militias in his country.
Sitting down for an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “Had it not been for the coalition and its support for Yemen, we would have become an Iranian state.”
“The coalition had exerted massive efforts in combating the Iranian expansion in Yemen and its efforts are still ongoing,” he said.
“The whole of Yemen is indebted to the coalition.”
Similar to other regions, Shabwa too suffered from terrorism when the state’s role was undermined, he continued.
“Such groups emerge when the state become absent and weak. Today, however, the situation has changed and Shabwa is in control of all areas of its province, which is why the terrorists have disappeared,” he stressed.
Moreover, bin Adeow added that the coalition was providing significant support for security agencies in Shabwa in their efforts to fight terrorism.
“Terrorism is everyone’s enemy and we need more coordination in future counter-terrorism operations,” he remarked.
Asked if any al-Qaeda members are being held in jails in Shabwa, he replied: “Yes, some are being held, but once we assess their situation, we realize that they have been duped into joining the group and they soon abandon the extremist ideology.”
Bin Adeow is currently in Riyadh to hold talks with Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and Supervisor of the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber. The two officials are set to discuss reconstruction efforts in Shabwa, including the establishment of a gas power plant and renovation of the Ataq hospital.
The hospital was subject to a strike when the Houthis were using it as a military base.
Bin Adeow spoke of challenges facing administrative work in Shabwa, namely corruption, which he said is rampant throughout Yemen.
“It is because of corruption that Shabwa has been deprived of its rights,” he explained. “Even donors and international organizations have not been able to properly aid the province due to the corruption.”
In Riyadh, bin Adeow held talks with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, his deputy and prime minister on various services projects for Shabwa.
He revealed that discussions are underway with concerned officials over resuming operations at the Ataq airport. Renovations at the facility are underway.