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Yemen: Separatists ‘take advantage’ of negotiations to impose control in the south

A fighter loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) holds the separatist flag in the southern Abyan province on 15 May 2020 [NABIL HASAN/AFP/Getty Images]
A fighter loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) holds the separatist flag in the southern Abyan province on 15 May 2020 [NABIL HASAN/AFP/Getty Images]

An adviser to Yemen’s Minister of Information said on Thursday that the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) is taking advantage of negotiations in Riyadh to gain time for it to take control of the rest of the southern governorates. Mukhtar Al-Rahbi added that this is being done with the cooperation of the Saudi-led coalition.

“The STC militia negotiates ministerial quotas and refuses to back down from all of its escalatory steps,” tweeted Al-Rahbi. “In such a situation, the talk about the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement remains just words and aims to gain more time to drop the remaining governorates (Hadramaut, Mahra) into their hands after handing Socotra to them with clear cooperation from the coalition in their favour.”

Meanwhile, a government source reported that consultations between the Yemeni government and the UAE-backed STC on the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement continue, amid the ministerial quota disputes and the implementation arrangement of the amended deal.

According to Sputnik, the source said that the Yemeni presidency is committed to granting the STC four ministerial portfolios, and distributing eight to other southern groups. However, the STC is demanding eight, with just four going to the others.

READ: UAE-backed Yemen forces loot Central Bank’s cash in Mukalla port

The source added that the presidency refused the STC’s request to assign to it the Ministry of the Interior. It was, though, agreed to grant it the governorship of Aden provided that its candidates are presented to the president to choose one, and that the legitimate government has control of Aden’s security.

Consultations have been taking place in Saudi Arabia for weeks between the legitimate government in exile and the UAE-backed STC to implement the stalled Riyadh Agreement, which was signed on 5 November last year.

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Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUAEYemen
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