The UAE and Saudi presence in Socotra, Hadhramout and Mahra provinces raises a very big question mark especially because the Houthi militia has not reached these places," said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and activist Tawakkol Karman.
This statement came in an intervention by Tawakkol Karman on Al Jazeera in a special episode about the Yemeni island Socotra that has recently been under the spotlight after Abu Dhabi deployed troops there and expelled military units affiliated to the Yemeni government.
She pointed out that the UAE presence goes back as early as 2015 when Saudi Arabia and the UAE started their military intervention in Yemen.
Karman stressed that crimes being committed in Yemen are not subject to statute of limitations, pointing out that Yemenis and the world will hold the perpetrators accountable.
“The UAE and Saudi Arabia have betrayed and stabbed Yemen in the back, and their agenda has turned from a supporter of the legitimacy and Yemen's territorial integrity and to occupiers of and threat to Yemen,” she continued.
She praised the Yemeni government for its position on the UAE’s irresponsible conduct in Socotra, emphasizing that if the Saudi forces continue to occupy Socotra they will receive the same response.
"We will not replace the UAE occupation with a Saudi one, and the government and Yemenis have the same position on the presence of the Saudi forces in Socotra. We will expel them as we have expelled the UAE from Socotra," Karman said.
She highly appreciated Socotris for their position on the UAE occupation, adding that Yemenis refuse to harm even “an atom of their national soil”.
The Nobel laureate also confirmed that the UAE forces have already left the island thanks to popular pressure
According to the agreement reached between the government, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Saudi forces in Socotra should leave within four weeks after the UAE forces left, she noted.