(Photo credit: SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images)
The oil ministry of the Saudi-backed Transitional Council in Yemen has sold an oilfield in Shabwah province to the UAE, Yemeni media reported on 29 May.
The ministry announced in a statement that it transferred control of the Sector 5 oilfield to a local company, which it failed to name.
Earlier reports claimed, however, that the field was sold to “a fictitious company based at the port of Jebel Ali” in Dubai, as a front to cover up UAE profits made through its involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
The ministry statement comes just one day after the Giants Brigade, a UAE-backed mercenary group, assumed control over the oilfield, which produces tens of thousands of oil barrels on a daily basis.
According to Al-Khabar al-Yemeni media outlet, the statement of the oil ministry was interpreted by activists to be an attempt to “stave off the scandal of selling the facility and to camouflage the deal.”
This deal reportedly generated large sums of money for the ministry and for Prime Minister Moein Abdel-Malik, who represents the new Saudi-appointed Transitional Council chosen in April in replacement of ousted president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
The Ansarallah resistance movement has denounced the formation of the new Saudi-backed council.
“The true legitimacy in Yemen is for those who defend the country’s independence, and the presidential council is an extension of the occupation and does not have any legitimacy,” Muhammad al-Bakhiti, member of the Ansarallah Political Bureau, said, following the appointment by the council.
Rashad al-Alimi, who was chosen as head of this new Saudi-appointed Transitional Council, was selected because “he is the man of America,” Al-Bakhiti added at the time.
The UAE has been actively involved in the aggressions of the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen, backing mercenary groups and taking part in indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
In March, it was reported that a UAE-backed construction project is being developed on Yemen’s Socotra Island for the purpose of hosting Israeli soldiers, officers, and other military personnel.
This is allegedly part of a plan to turn the Yemeni island into a center for regional espionage, as well as increasing control over maritime routes.
Since the start of the war on Yemen, Israel has also played an active role in perpetuating the conflict, providing logistical support for the Saudi-led coalition.