Rashad Al-Alimi and Abdul Rahman Al-Mahrami during their arrival to Aden accompanied by Saudi forces. January 28, 2023 (official)

South Yemen: PLC Chairman Establishes The «Nation Shield Forces»


Mon, 30-01-2023 11:29 AM, Aden Time

Aden (South24) 

Yesterday, Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) Chairman Rashad Al-Alimi issued a decision to establish military units under the name of the "Nation Shield Forces."

Al-Alimi appointed the Salafi Brigadier General Bashir Saif Al-Subaihi as the commander of these forces, provided that these forces would be "the reserve of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces," according to Saba news agency.

The decisions came a day after Al-Alimi returned to the capital city Aden from Saudi Arabia, accompanied by Abdul Rahman Al-Mahrami, the PLC's member.

These decisions give official status to local military formations in South Yemen, established by Saudi Arabia nearly half a year ago from a mixture of military and civilians, most of whom belong to the religious Salafist movement.

In a previous report by the South24 Center, leaders from these formations acknowledged Saudi support. They said the main objective of these units is to fight the Iran-backed Houthis.

According to exclusive sources of South24 Center, these formations currently consist of more than 8,000 fighters distributed over seven brigades, with continuous recruitment processes.

Lahj governorate, north of the capital city Aden, is considered the main stronghold of these formations and the basic human nucleus. Many units are also deployed on the fronts of Al-Dhalea governorate.

According to sources, on October 27, Saudi Arabia pushed dozens of military vehicles that crossed Al-Wadyah land port with South Yemen towards the camps of these formations in Lahj governorate.

Al-Alimi's decisions sparked a wave of controversy after statements made by Al-Alimi upon his arrival in Aden about "vital interventions" that he will witness this year with the support of the Saudi-led Coalition.

Recently, news has been raised about attempts made by Al-Alimi to unilaterally issue the PLC's decisions.

In a meeting yesterday, the PLC's supporting body, the Consultation and Reconciliation Commission called for an expedite review and approval of the draft rules regulating the PLC's work.

An earlier version of this draft had stumbled on May 31, after it was submitted by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Hammoud al-Hitar.

On the other contrary, Islah-affiliate political analysts considered Al-Alimi's decisions as a prelude to removing the forces of the First Military District from Wadi Hadramout and replacing them with newly-formed forces.

So far, no official statement has been issued by the STC or the Southern Forces. 

South24 Center

South YemenAdenPLCRashad Al-AlimiNational Shield Forces