Yemen authorities tell Aden: Put down your guns

Unrest and violence in Yemen’s second city has spurred authorities to clamp down on arms ownership.

Yemeni Prime Minister Bahah in the Aden harbor
Since most government members returned to Aden in September, they assured residents of their ability to restore peace and calm [EPA]

In the streets of Aden, people have many reasons to be sceptical about the government’s ability to restore peace to the battered city.

Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, who went unnoticed in the past, are now audaciously driving their armed vehicles around the city, passing army checkpoints.

“There is no one force to say it is in full control of the entire city,” Mohammed Haidan, a resident of Aden’s Sheikh Othman district, told Al Jazeera. “In Aden, there are all kinds of militants.”

Haidan is, nonetheless, optimistic, saying that “a strong state can purge them from the city”.

In a move aimed to improve security in Yemen’s second city,  government forces have begun carrying out a long-awaited plan to clamp down on the proliferation of armaments.

According to security officials, the plan includes a week-long awareness campaign to convince people to keep their guns at home, the setting-up of more checkpoints, absorbing local militiamen who fought the Houthis into the army and raiding rebels’ hiding places in the city. The United Arab Emirates, which has a strong military presence in the area, will fund the plan.


Aden has witnessed a string of deadly attacks [EPA]
Aden has witnessed a string of deadly attacks [EPA]
Source: Al Jazeera