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Arab League backs Yemen unity, after breakaway council

May 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

The Arab League on Saturday reiterated support for Yemen’s territorial integrity after former Yemeni officials formed a southern council to split from the north.

On Thursday, the former governor of the southern Aden city, Aidaroos al-Zubaidi, announced the formation of an interim council to run the affairs of southern Yemen.

The move, however, was vehemently rejected by the Yemeni government and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

In a statement, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit said he was “disturbed” by recent developments in Yemen.

He called on all Yemenis “to pursue solidarity and unity in this hard moment to spare the country the risks of division.”

“Opening up a new front leads to create more divisions and prolong the conflict in the country,” he warned.

Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of chaos since 2014 when Houthi rebels and its allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The conflict escalated one year later when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign to reverse Houthi gains and restore the Yemeni government.