Small Wars Journal

Mukalla is an Oasis of Stability in War-Torn Yemen. So Why Do Some Residents Miss Al Qaeda?

Mukalla is an Oasis of Stability in War-Torn Yemen. So Why Do Some Residents Miss Al Qaeda? By Alexandra Zavis – Los Angeles Times

… Mukalla, former Al Qaeda bastion of about 500,000 people, is one of the safest cities in a nation torn apart by a brutal civil war that has claimed at least 10,000 lives, displaced 2 million and forced the internationally recognized government into exile. It may be the only place in Yemen that doesn’t allow civilians to carry firearms in public, a common sight elsewhere.

But two years after troops from the United Arab Emirates and their local allies reclaimed the city, a port on the Arabian Sea, residents are growing restless. Though the relative security is a welcome relief from bombings and shootings that were once commonplace, lasting stability will depend on reconstruction and economic development, and there has been little progress on those fronts.

Mukalla, like many places nominally under the authority of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government in exile, has largely been left to fend for itself.

Buildings destroyed by airstrikes still scar some neighborhoods. Power outages last up to eight hours a day. Raw sewage seeps from damaged pipelines. Jobs are hard to come by and usually don’t pay well…

Read on.