Yemen: Southern Transitional Council declares autonomy


Security Belt Force fighters, a member of the Southern Transitional Council, were heading from Aden to Abyan Governorate on November 26, 2019.

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The Southern Transitional Council in Yemen declared autonomy and state of emergency in the areas it controls in the south of the country, in defiance of the internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi Arabia.

The council, which is backed by the Emirates, said that the Yemeni government had not yet done anything to share the situation, especially to improve the living conditions of civilians and military personnel.

Yemen is deeply divided by the civil war with the Houthi rebels in the north. Aden last year witnessed heavy fighting after the southern separatists made a similar attempt to obtain autonomy, before they later signed a peace agreement in November.

Under the agreement to end the power struggle in southern Yemen agreed in Riyadh, the Southern Transitional Council and other southerners were supposed to join a new national government within 30 days and put all of their forces under the control of the internationally recognized government.

The government’s response

“The announcement by the so-called transitional council of its intention to establish a southern administration is the resumption of its armed rebellion … and its declaration of rejection and its complete withdrawal from the Riyadh agreement,” the Yemeni Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.

“The alleged transitional council alone will bear the serious and catastrophic consequences of such a declaration,” she added.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition supports President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government in the face of the Houthi militants who control the capital, Sanaa.

The Southern Transitional Council in Yemen was established on May 11, 2017 by politicians, tribal and military officials in Aden, the country’s second largest city.

At the time, Aidros Al-Zubaidi, the former governor of Aden, announced in a speech broadcast on the local television, along with the previous flag of the Republic of South Yemen, a decision to establish a southern transitional council under his chairmanship called the “Presidium of the Southern Transitional Council.”

Al-Zubaidi said that the commission, which includes 26 members, including the governors of five southern cities and two ministers in the Yemeni government, will assume management and representation of the southern governorates internally and externally.

The Hadi government announced its opposition to the formation of this council.

Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the United Nations, as it says that approximately 80% of the total population – 24.1 million people – need some kind of humanitarian aid.

The coalition announced a ceasefire on April 9, in support of United Nations efforts to end the five-year-old war and to create the atmosphere to cope with an outbreak of the Corona virus, and extended it for 30 days as the month of Ramadan begins.

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