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Jemen Ex-Präsident Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi
Image: Getty Images/AFP/E. Hamid

Yemen's President Hadi returns to Aden

September 22, 2015

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has returned to Yemen, six months after he fled to exile in Saudi Arabia. Pro-government troops, with some outside help, drove Houthi rebels from the second city of Aden in July.


Hadi arrived in loyalist-held Aden aboard a Saudi military plane on Tuesday, before being driven to a hotel in the city accompanied by Yemeni guards. Also among the team protecting him were troops from the Saudi-led coalition that helped government forces recapture the strategic port city.

Hadi's office said he would be in the city for at least two days, and that he would meet members of the ruling cabinet and local authorities, as well as military and security chiefs.

"The return of his excellency the president to Aden comes after an absence that has lasted for six months amid the brutal aggression which has been carried out by the militias loyal to the Houthis and Saleh on the city of Aden," the president's office said.

Hadi, a former army general and vice president, assumed office in 2012 under a transition plan brokered by Gulf states after the Arab Spring protests ended three decades in power for his predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh. Although a former adversary of the Houthis, Saleh - who also had supporters in the Yemeni military - has since formed an alliance with the Houthi rebels seeking to take back the country.

Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and several government ministers returned last week to the port city, which was retaken from Shiite Houthi rebels in mid-July.

The Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September last year and Hadi fled to Aden, before that city also fell to the Shiite group. A Saudi-led Sunni alliance of mainly Gulf states intervened in the conflict, initially with air strikes, in March this year.

The Houthis have lost five southern provinces since the coalition expanded its campaign against them to include ground operations. However, Gulf land troops and government forces have recently found it harder to make progress in Houthi strongholds in the capital Sanaa and northern Yemen.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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