On April 26, 2020, the STC (Southern Transitional Council) announced that it would establish self-rule in areas under its control, which the Saudi-backed government warned would have “catastrophic consequences”.
The move threatens to renew conflict between the UAE-backed separatist (STC) and the Saudi-backed government, nominal allies in Yemen’s war, even as the United Nations is trying to secure a nationwide truce to confront the coronavirus pandemic.
The STC is one of the main groups fighting against the Houthis as part of a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. But the separatists, long backed by Saudi coalition partner the United Arab Emirates, have clashed with government forces in the past.
STC announced that it would take control of Aden’s port and airport and other state institutions such as the central bank.
The Saudi-backed government and southern regions of Shabwa, Hadhramout, and Socotra, among the few areas under coalition control, issued separate statements rejecting the declaration.
Hani Ali BRIK, STC Vice-President accused the government of hampering the agreement.
The STC said it had acted because the Riyadh agreement, a deal between the STC and the UN-backed government of Yemen brokered by Saudi Arabia last November, was not bring implemented.
Saudi Arabia described the STC move as escalators, and the UAE foreign minister Anwar GARGASH insisted “frustration with the delay in implementing the Riyadh agreement should not be a reason to change the situation unilaterally”.
Martin GRIFFITS, the UN special envoy for Yemen, said he found the STC move concerning. “Now, more than ever, all political actors must cooperate in good faith, refrain from taking escalators actions, and put the interests of Yemenis first” he stressed.
The STC, which has said it wants to be included in any political negotiations, pulled out of committees implementing the Riyadh deal in January.
The Hadi government is blocked by corruption and continually refuses to pay salaries of public-sector staff, said STC.
The foreign minister of the UN-recognized Yemen government, Mohammed al-HADRAMI, condemned the STC’s move as “a resumption of its armed insurgency … and an announcement of its rejection and complete withdrawal from the Riyadh agreement”.
This article was edited using the data from the reuters.com, 24matins.uk, theguardian.com, and bbc.com.
Source of the photo: bbc.com.