UAE forces isolate Socotra island

The Saudi-Emirati coalition forces have on Monday completed measures to isolate Socotra island from its Yemeni surroundings with measures that restrict Yemenis’ entry into the island.

Local sources said that the UAE has implemented the residency system for Yemeni expatriates from outside the island during the past hours, after it launched a recruitment office delegation, which was assigned the tasks of managing the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) on the island.

The office has begun receiving Yemenis from outside the island, to give them a job in exchange for money.

This means that effectively, the UAE controls which Yemenis are allowed in or banned from visiting the Socotra archipelago.

This step coincides with the launch of new measures related to the numbering of cars, by giving them Gulf traffic numbers. According to the sources, the STC mercenaries have begun to pursue cars with Yemeni license plate s and force the owners to obtain UAE-assigned ones instead.

In terms of transport, the UAE forced a Yemeni plane to travel to Djibouti to refuel, even though the flight was domestic between Socotra and the neighboring city of Seiyun.

This comes at a time when the Emirates continue to transport foreigners to the island via a private airline connecting Abu Dhabi to Socotra.

The measures are an extension of the steps meant to annex the island at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, into the United Arab Emirates, which began in 2017 with the occupation of the island.

The moves have drawn criticism for Hadi’s new government, which has been silent until now amid accusations that it has struck a deal with the coalition that would include a century-old lease of the island to the Emirati forces.