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STC refuses to cooperate with Yemen govt’s inquest into Aden blast

December 31, 2020 at 1:27 pm

A fighter loyal to Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC) stands on guard while deployed at the entrance of Aden International Airport of the southern Yemeni city on 27 August 2020. [SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) has reportedly refused to take part in the Saudi-supported Yemeni government’s probe into yesterday’s deadly attack at Aden airport as the recently formed unity government touched down from Saudi Arabia.

At least three explosions are believed to have struck the southern port city’s airport. The attack left 22 people dead and over 50 wounded although none of the new cabinet members were harmed.

However, the Yemen Press Agency citing sources reported that the STC has prevented a government appointed security-intelligence panel tasked with investigating the attack under the pretext of not tampering with the crime scene. Journalists have been prevented from taking pictures at the scene and surveillance footage has also been confiscated, the sources added.

Although no one group has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s blasts, some members of the Yemeni government have accused the Houthi movement while others have hinted at STC involvement. One STC leader Malik Al-Yazidi Al-Yafei accused the Saudi-backed Islah Party militia of being behind the attack.

READ: Failure to realise Yemen’s political reality prolongs the conflict and crisis

The Houthi movement has since denied any involvement in the incident and the Minister of Information in the Houthi-led government based in Sanaa, Dhaifallah Al-Shami stated yesterday on Twitter that “the confused statements of the government of Riyadh’s mercenaries about the explosions at Aden airport raise question marks.”

The accusations implicating the Houthi movement were “an attempt to cover up their crimes against civilians and to settle the inter-accounts of mercenary parties,” he added.

On Saturday, members of the new 24-cabinet government were sworn-in in front of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resides in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The unity government is a cornerstone of the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement signed last year in an attempt to set political differences between the pro-Hadi militia and the STC while they shift focus on the Houthi-dominated north of the country.

READ: The new Yemeni government is what Saudi Arabia wanted, not what Hadi wanted