Mon - 24 Feb 2020 - 06:52 PM

written by : Mustafa Al Zarooni Writer Archive -

Nation-building is incomplete without strong armed forces that protect the interests of the people. Under one command, one banner, the UAE Armed Forces have been the pride of the country. The men and women of honour have not just defended the borders at home, kept the country safe, but also carried the UAE government's message of peace and righteousness across borders and defended the rights of people in other countries.

Recent operations in Yemen prove just that. As we welcome back our men in uniform from Yemen, we are reminded of the great sacrifices they have made for the sake of Yemenis.

The UAE Armed Forces have not only helped liberate more than 80 per cent of Yemen's territories, but also trained the Yemeni forces to ensure they are able to run their country professionally and effectively.

Yemen operations prove UAE's commitment to the region. There was no hidden agenda or ill-intent towards Yemen as was being promoted by the hostile international media. The UAE has lost some of its bravest souls to this cause; 108 brave Emirati soldiers died while fighting for the rights of Yemenis. Aggression and injustice writ large in the country and the UAE honoured the coalition's decision to support the Yemenis.

Numbers and actions always speak louder than tendentious news and misleading campaigns.

The UAE has always considered its duty to lend support to its brothers in the region on all levels. It provided more than Dh20 billion in aid to Yemen over the last four years, most of which was spent on development projects and the rest on humanitarian relief programmes, which benefitted millions of Yemenis. The UAE also helped built and renovate several hospitals, schools, power plants, and public facilities to ensure decent lives for all Yemenis.

On the military front, the UAE has engaged in the Arab coalition to help restore peace and unity in Yemen, although it knows beforehand that its mission would not obviously be easy and it has to fight on many different fronts (Houthis, Muslim Brotherhood besides other extremist groups including Daesh and Al Qaeda).

The move to send the UAE Armed Forces in Yemen came after the Houthi militias didn't honour their commitments. They bypassed four agreements and treaties to give peace a chance in Yemen. The Houthis also turned against legitimacy and imposed its influence on Yemen, posing a real threat to the entire region including Saudi Arabia.

This is why Saudi Arabia formed the Arab coalition in accordance with Chapter VII of Security Council Resolution 2216, and decided to support the legitimate government in Yemen. Through these operations the UAE and the Arab coalition on the whole has demonstrated its sincerity and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of our brothers' peace and security in the region.

Published by Dubai-based Khaleej Times newspaper on Monday, February 24, 2020.