Emirati forces have been accused of displacing local residents from Yemen’s Socotra archipelago in preparation to establish a military base on the island of Abd Al-Kuri.
Yesterday they continued to forcibly evict dozens of families from their homes at gunpoint, reported the Yemen Press Agency, citing local sources. The sources added that the recent displacement came after construction work began to build the base, which is speculated to host joint UAE and Israeli forces stationed in the archipelago.
In April, it was reported that UAE forces have been expelling dozens of families from their villages on Abd Al-Kuri Island, the second largest in the archipelago.
The displacements come amid increased cooperation between the UAE and Israel – who normalised ties in 2020, to set up a military and spy base on the strategically-located islands. This is in line with Israel’s ambitions to gain a foothold in the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.
Despite the UAE’s withdrawal in 2019 from the southern port city of Aden on Yemen’s mainland, it has steadily been increasing and consolidating its influence elsewhere in the southern provinces, including in Socotra. Its actions are seen by many locals as an occupation.