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'Southern Yemen' council formed independent of Hadi, with Emirati support

May 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm

Aidroos Al-Zubaidi, President of the Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC), 10 August 2018 [Ali Mahmood Mohammed/Twitter]

Aden’s recently sacked former governor, Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, who is supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced on Thursday the formation of a political council that will govern the south of Yemen.

A Yemeni source clarified that the Supreme Southern Political Leadership, which is called the “Presidential Council”, will be headed by Al-Zubaidi and his vice president, Hani Bin Breik, along with 24 other members, including three women.

The decision stipulates, in its first article, the proclamation of a supreme southern political council called the “Southern Transitional Presidential Council”. The Transitional Presidential Council will assume the role of completing procedures to establish the various bodies of the Transitional Council and administer and represent the South internally and externally.

Article 3 of the decision confirmed that the South will maintain the partnership with the Arab Coalition to confront Iranian expansionism in the region, as well as the partnership with the international community in the war against terrorism, as an effective player within this alliance.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni Transport Minister, Murad Al-Halimi, confirmed his rejection of the Transitional Council announced by Al-Zubaidi, stressing that he supports the legitimacy of the President of the Republic, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A local Yemeni website quoted Al-Halimi as saying that the council goes against national unity and is unacceptable. He expressed his surprise at the fact that he had been named as a member of the council. The decisions taken by the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi at the end of last April reflected the growing differences between him and Abu Dhabi on the one hand, and between the latter and Saudi Arabia with regards to Yemen on the other hand.

One of Hadi’s main decisions was to dismiss Aden’s governor Aidarous al-Zubaidi, who is close to the UAE, and transfer him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an ambassador. He also dismissed Al-Sheikh Hani Ali Bin Breik, the former Secretary of State and ordered that he be investigated for several charges including political disobedience and involvement in corruption.

Following these decisions, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan, Deputy Chief of Police and Public Security in Dubai, sharply attacked Hadi and demanded his dismissal, claiming that as president, he was dividing rather than uniting Yemenis and that he was the cause of the Yemeni crisis. Khalfan advocated for the secession of southern Yemen, publicly revealing for the first time an Emirati scheme that has long been claimed to exist by several Yemeni actors.