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Yemen separatists announce self-rule in the south

April 26, 2020

The Southern Transitional Council has reneged on a deal brokered by the Saudi-led coalition to establish control over parts of south Yemen. The country's internationally-recognized government has rejected the move.

The port city of Aden
Image: imago images/Xinhua

Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) announced that it would take administrative control of the areas under its influence, including the regional capital of Aden. The move may put an end to a peace deal with Yemen's internationally recognized government, brokered by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in November.

"The Southern Transitional Council announces a self administration rule in the south, as of midnight Saturday, April 25th, 2020," a statement by the council said on Sunday. This was accompanied by the declaration of an emergency in Aden and southern provinces.

The STC, backed by the United Arab Emirates, has accused the country's Saudi Arabia-backed government of corruption. The government constitutes forces loyal to former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels in 2014.

Both parties were considered allies, as a part of the Sunni Muslim forces against the Houthi rebels. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015, as civil war continued. The new deal was expected to end the power struggle and establish a united national cabinet.

"The announcement by the so-called transitional council of its intention to establish a southern administration is a resumption of its armed insurgency... and an announcement of its rejection and complete withdrawal from the Riyadh agreement," Yemen's foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

"The so-called transitional council will bear alone the dangerous and catastrophic consequences for such an announcement," the statement read.

Yemen's Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadrami also called for Saudi Arabia to take "decisive measures against the continuing rebellion of the so-called Transitional Council.''

The civil war and unrest in Yemen have led to a humanitarian crisis, pushing the country to the brink of destruction. The latest developments, in combination with the coronavirus pandemic, could add pressure to the already dilapidated social and economic infrastructure of the country.

Yemen currently has only one confirmed COVID-19 case.

see/aw (Reuters, AP)

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