Yemen’s Socotra Island .. Survived of War but Fell Under UAE Ambitions
By: Shefa’a Abdullah
The Yemeni island of Socotra, located in the Indian Ocean, has been away from the war in Yemen for more than 3 years,but the island, which characterized by rare plant and animal diversity in the world, are under the authority of the UAE occupation forces, and are subject to unprecedented mischief.
The UAE is the second largest of the so-called “Arab Alliance”, and it also controls most of the southern and eastern provinces of Yemen.
Over the past months, accusations have increased for the UAE to exploit the absence of state authorities by acting in its territory and its diversity of plant and animal.
The Yemeni authorities had fortified it by a republican decree in 2000, which stipulated that “any material from the island should be banned in order to preserve its ecosystem, biodiversity and natural reserves.”
Earlier this February, fugitive ex-president Hadi directed the authorities to “stop the disposition of the lands of Socotra Island,” an area of 3,796 square kilometers, after the growing accusations against the UAE.
But the UAE authorities did not make any official comment on it, claiming that, its presence on the island is to provide health and humanitarian services, as is the case in the rest of the liberated provinces.
The island is a permanent sanctuary for invaders
The island has more than 270 species of endemic plants that are not found in any country in the world, in addition to species of endemic and rare birds.
The island, known as the home of the blood of the brothers, was the target of the invaders according to historical accounts, where the Greeks, the Pharos, the Persians and the Romans tried to control them, and the Portuguese and the British occupied them.
Since the start of the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen in late March 2015, the island has remained far from the conflict ,the UAE presence began in the form of humanitarian interventions, following the hurricane struck late in 2015, according to accusations by activists loyal to the government of fugitive Hadi.
The island is ruled by an Emirati
Since the events in the province of Aden, in late January, there has been increasing talk about another agenda the UAE is seeking to implement.
In addition to supporting the separatists who aspire to the independence of the south of the country from the north, the UAE accuses the UAE of taking full control of the vital and strategic areas liberated and exploiting its interests, and at the top of those areas, the island of Socotra, dubbed the “land of dreams.”
According to a report, the Socotra archipelago “is at a critical juncture”, in terms of its unique tourism heritage.
He also pointed out that the coast of the island was sold to an Emirati official named Khalfan al-Mazroui and Wakni by Abu Mubarak, with the documentation of the governor Ahmed bin Hamdoun al-Saktari.
The Governor of Socotra, Ahmad Bin Hamdoun, has enabled three Emirati officials, Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Saeed Al Kaabi, and Sultan Al Kaabi, to do everything in Socotra,the start with faired the director of the Island Port, Salem Al-Dehari , after insisting on the inspection of the large funds, which the report said “transfer the wealth of Socotra”, to the UAE.
The report accuses the new authorities of the port, appointed by the UAE, of allowing the reception of giant ships with empty boxes to transport Socotra stones, trees and wealth of various kinds.
Turtle and Coral Reef Reserve
Socotra Island has natural reserves and rare trees in the world, recommended by international organizations, the need to protect them, but their departure from the authority of the state, turning them into a mere commodity.
An official memorandum revealed early February that the authorities had sold the turtle reserve in the Abelhan area and built a fence on the shores of the reserve.
And demanded the governor of the province, cancel the process of documenting sales contracts, and protect the territory of the island.
The sale of the turtle reserve was not stopped, but extended to the sale and export of the coral reefs on the island .
The coast of the island
The coast of Socotra Island was also cordoned off along the entire port line, which was previously prohibited.
According to the report, which arrived Hadi, the UAE official “Abu Mubarak” is the one who bought the land and managed by an apparent son of the island.
According to the report, the UAE official has cleared the entire land from the port to the factory and has been guarded by guards of Indian nationality who have recently been attracted by the UAE.
No one was allowed to approach because of the secrecy of landings that carry valuables.
Emirati media mentioned about deepening the navigation channel of the port, in order to receive giant ships, says says the Island’s citizens that the island does not need to receive them and that the large ships distrust.
The report said that the UAE official, Abu Mubarak, has developed new roads to tourist sites that are nature reserves, and prevents any developments within the recommendations of international organizations.