The UAE has deployed tanks and about 50 soldiers to Yemen’s remote World Heritage site
Yemen’s government-in-exile slammed the United Arab Emirates’ takeover of Socotra, a remote heritage-listed Yemeni island in the Arabian Sea sometimes described as the “most alien-looking place on Earth.”
The UAE military’s seizure of the seaport and airport on Socotra is an “unjustified” assault on Yemen’s sovereignty, its exiled government said in a statement from Prime Minister Ahmed Bin Dagr’s office. It was a rare criticism of its partner in the fight against Houthi rebels who control large swathes of the country.
The takeover “reflects the disagreement between the legitimate government and our brothers in the UAE, and at its core is a dispute over national sovereignty and who has the right to practise it,” the statement said.
The Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates denied the accusation in a statement posted on the official news agency WAM late Sunday.
The UAE said its role on Socotra is as an active member of the Arab coalition to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised government and that attempts to distort its actions on the island are part of Muslim Brotherhood-led smear campaigns to undermine the fight against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign affairs on Sunday night addressed recent criticisms issued on the official social media accounts of Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, which the UAE said escalated the situation beyond “reality and logic”, Wam reported.
The Ministry expressed its surprise at the Prime Minister’s statement and said that such tensions distracted from the shared goal to counter the Houthi rebel threat.
The UAE has deployed soldiers to Socotra, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, as part of a campaign to support its residents but the move has been criticised, with the Emirates accused by some Yemeni officials of over-stepping its UN-backed mandate as part of the Coalition, according to media reports.
The Yemeni government responded Tuesday to the calls of the people and activists in the capital Sanaa and made an official appeal to UNESCO to intervene and save the Yemeni architectural treasures and cultural heritage from Houthi militias.
In an official statement, the Ministry of Culture denounced the “deliberate and systematic distortion and destruction campaigns” that have been carried out by Houthi militias against Yemen’s historical monuments for more than three years, most recently was in Sanaa, where they destructed historic buildings.
Members of the Houthi group have recently carried out a systematic campaign to paint the facades of historical buildings in the old city registered in UNESCO’s heritage cities, in the colors of the group’s sectarian slogans and distort its unique architectural style.
The government statement called on UNESCO to intervene to stop the militias’ destructing acts and “carry out its responsibility to guarantee and protect the heritage of the old city of Sanaa.”
The statement called on the UN organization to “exert all possible pressure to stop Houthi militias destructing acts.
In the island of Socotra, considered to be one of the most alien-looking places on Earth, recent research suggests Indic roots from far back in time.
Have you ever seen a dragon’s blood tree? No, it isn’t something out of the sets of the Game of Thrones. This is a real tree whose scientific name is Dracaena cinnabariand is considered to be of immense value because of its product – a red sap that oozes from the trunk of the tree, from which it gets its name. The tree is found only on the remote island of Socotra, off the coast of Yemen, once home to a thriving culture of Indic people.
Socotra is one of the most alien-looking places on Earth. It looks like something out of a science fiction film, so unreal is its landscape. It is also home to some 800 species of flora and fauna, over a third of which are endemic – which means they are not found anywhere else on the planet.
The sand-coloured town overlooking the country’s west coast was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.
Zabid, Yemen: Once Yemen’s capital and famed as an architectural marvel of early Islam, the town of Zabid is fighting to survive as a brutal war closes in on its fortified walls.
The sand-coloured town overlooking the country’s west coast was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 for its centuries-old urban planning and architecture, including the world’s fifth oldest mosque.
Riven by neglect and poverty, it was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage in Danger seven years later.
Yemen’s three-year war, which has killed nearly 10,000 people and pushed the country to the brink of famine, is now threatening the fate of Zabid.
So far the town has been spared in the battle between Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a government allied with a military coalition.
But a fight for nearby Hodeida, home to Yemen’s most vital port, has raised fears the violence is closing in on Zabid.
Ahmed Hussein Ahmed says his home was damaged last month, as government forces clashed with Houthi rebels nearby.
Manama : The long-neglected island Socotra is now home to a large number of endangered species wherein up to a third of its plant life is endemic and could be found nowhere else on earth but Socotra, revealed experts at a workshop held at the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage in Manama
The cultural heritage protection programme for the Yemeni island of Socotra was hosted by the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage in co-ordination with Centre for Middle Eastern Plants, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with the support of British Council. The programme was aimed at integrating cultural heritage into conservation and development planning on Socotra.
The workshop that was launched in the presence of Yemeni Ambassador to the Kingdom Hassan Al Ahmadi is part of a two-year programme attended by six participants of heritage and community development workers in Socotra.