Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen, Lahij’s Mayor: Anad Air Base is U.S. Free | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Aden- Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Lahij Governorate’s Mayor Dr. Nasser Kbjee denied all hearsay spread by Houthi militia and their allies (supporters of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh) on U.S. forces being present at the strategic al-Anad Air Base, 20 km north of Lahij.

Kbjee confirmed that only pro-legitimacy and Arab coalition forces are present at the airbase. He explained that the militias are spreading rumors of citing U.S. forces at the base as to incite and spur another attack against the strategic location. The attack would represent retaliation to the major defeat suffered and having been forced to clear the zone, Kbjee said.

When discussing the state-of-affairs of the Lahij governorate Kbjee said that the initial cost to cover the support needed for humanitarian service and relief is estimated to be somewhere around 167 million dollars.

The Lahij Mayor further asserted that his governorate does not provide a terrorism tolerant environment. He accused ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh for a number of radicalized youth being present at the rural outskirts.

Kbjee explained that some of the terrorists moved back to Lahij after fighting in other governorates. He added that ousted President Saleh exploited some of the radicalized youth to form groups; however he reiterated that Lahij will not be aiding or hosting such units.

Mayor Kbjee, accounting for a population of 13 directorates, spoke of a bundle of topics relative to the ongoing war across the Kirish and Istimata fronts. He said that the militias have been rendered miserable.

Moreover, the Kbjee discussed files on reconstruction, counterterrorism, humanitarian relief and many other subjects.

When asked on presenting a list of requirements to higher authorities on behalf the Lahij Governorate, and what highlights were carried by the list, Mayor Kbjee said that his office has presented a list including several urgent needs for the governorate and its directorates. He added that fulfilling some of the requests may relief some of the suffering lived by the people of Lahij.

After the war, Lahij is all but destroyed, Kbjee said.

The 167-million-dollar aid needed will be split into domains of sustenance, health, education, environment, housing, water, power, in addition to assisting the refugees coming into four centers in Kirsh, Tur Al Bahah, Al Modarabah and Al Moqqatra.

Mayor Kbjee explained that a 20-Megawatt power supply and four other 25-Megawatt powered generators are needed. Concerning water circulation, water pumps and well drillers should be provided.

Moreover, food aid should be provided to refugees at concentrated units. Aid must be presented to relief martyrs and those wounded giving them around the clock care, Kbjee said.

“Housing should be provided to those who lost their homes or were driven away from them. Many displaced families have resorted to governmental facilities,” Kbjee added.

Damaged by the war, the whole area’s power network and unit generators need to be reexamined. The water network and sewage are also is need of reassessment. Other human service departments are also in dire need of support, like health, education and the environment.

After meeting with the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his administration, Kbjee said that cases concerning his governorate were discussed. The budget which will enable offices to execute most of the work at the shortest time possible was also discussed.

However, the most significant topic talked over was security status quo and advances in the battlefield. The merger of Popular Resistance fighters and the national army was the acme of the security deliberations, Kebjee said.

Taking care of families of martyrs, aiding those wounded, and compensating for those who suffered during the war took the major slice of discussions on humanitarian affairs of the governorate. The reconstruction of the infrastructure also was debated as one of the vital topics, Kbjee said.