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Yemen government delays return, officials blame separatists

Yemeni officials say the government has been forced to delay its return to the city of Aden, blaming southern separatists for stalling on the key point of a power-sharing deal signed early this month to end their infighting.

Under the agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia between Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the separatists, backed by the United Arab Emirates, the government was to have returned to Aden last Tuesday.

The separatists pushed government forces out and captured Aden during summer clashes.

In this photo released by the Saudi Royal Palace, Yemeni Southern Transitional Council member and former Aden Governor Nasser al-Khabji, left, and Yemen's deputy Prime Minister Salem al-Khanbashi sign a power-sharing deal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Yemen's internationally recognized government signed a power-sharing deal with Yemeni separatists that are backed by the United Arab Emirates. A picture of Saudi Arabia's founder late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud hangs on wall. (Bandar AljaloudSaudi Royal Palace via AP)

The officials say the separatists refuse to hand over government facilities and insisting on joint committees. The officials spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to reporters.

The infighting between government forces and separatists added another layer to Yemen’s complex civil war.

In this photo released by the Saudi Royal Palace, Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, center, is accompanied by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, and Dhabi's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan before signing a power-sharing deal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Yemen's internationally recognized government has signed a power-sharing deal with Yemeni separatists that are backed by the United Arab Emirates. The deal aims to halt months of infighting between the two groups. (Bandar AljaloudSaudi Royal Palace via AP)