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UAE-backed separatists: Saudi Arabia hinders Yemen agreement

August 31, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Fighters from of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the southern Abyan province on 12 May 2020 [SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images]

A separatist official has accused Saudi Arabia of hindering the implementation of a power-sharing deal, known as the Riyadh Agreement, for southern Yemen, reported Anadolu Agency.

“The denial of return for southern leaders to Aden by Saudi Arabia is an obstruction of the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement,” Rami Muthana al-Sumaidi, a leader of the UAE-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), said on Monday.

He added Riyadh has refused to allow former security chief Shallal Shaya to return to Aden from Abu Dhabi.

Al-Sumaidi warned the Saudi-led coalition of taking any measures to prevent the movement of southern Yemeni leaders in the future.

There was no comment from the Saudi-led coalition on the accusations.

The Riyadh agreement, first proposed in November, aims to end clashes between the Yemeni government and STC fighters in southern provinces.

Read: Yemen southern separatists withdraw from Riyadh Agreement talks

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.