A cautious anticipation prevails in the interim Yemeni capital, Aden, with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council vowing to pursue its goal of seceding southern Yemen from its north, and its threat of escalation against the Yemeni government in the coming days.
On the fourth anniversary of the Aden Declaration – which was a prelude to the formation of the Southern Transitional Council – the head of the Transitional Council, Aidaroos Al-Zubeidi, said that patience has limits to what he described as “policies of abuse and collective punishment targeting our people, and that the council’s options are open to address our people’s issues in a manner that meets their aspirations.” . Read also Yemeni government forces accuse the STC militia of violating the Riyadh Agreement Yemen: Hit-and-run battles between the government and the Houthis in Marib and a new military leadership for the Transitional Council in Aden The north is for the Houthis and the south is for the transitional … Aidaroos al-Zubaidi raises anger on the Yemeni platforms Has the Riyadh Agreement expired? Al-Zubaidi heralds an independent southern state in Yemen
Al-Zubaidi hinted at returning to the declaration of the Autonomous Administration of the South, which the Council retracted at the end of July of last year, to implement the Riyadh Agreement signed with the internationally recognized government on November 5, 2019.
When Al-Zubaidi was delivering his speech, a number of council leaders were raising the flag of the state of South Yemen before its unification with the north (May 22, 1990) in Al-Tawahi Palace, which is a symbolic image that confirms that the Council is strongly present in the cities and governorates of the south.
Although the meaning was the Yemeni government, Al-Zubaidi’s eyes were on the Omani capital, Muscat, which has witnessed in recent days a diplomatic movement, as the UN envoys Martin Griffiths and the American Timothy Lenderking discussed with the Sultanate and the Houthi delegation a ceasefire in Yemen.
Al-Zubaidi was keen to recall in the letter that the council “was able, within only 3 years, to extract the recognition of friends, and before that, opponents who sought to kill and weaken him.”
Ramzi al-Fadhli, director of moral guidance in the government-affiliated forces in Abyan governorate – which is fighting the STC forces – said that the transitional threat is nothing more than a signal to the international community and the Saudi-Emirati coalition to include it in the new consultations.
Al-Fadhli stated to Al-Jazeera Net that Al-Zubaidi’s return from the UAE and his threat of a general mobilization came at a time when the council was expecting success for the Muscat negotiations, which would lead to an agreement between the Houthis and the Yemeni government that might completely ignore the transitional.
He said that the government forces have information about what the transitional is preparing in the coming days, steps that may be related to the announcement of the general mobilization, but he stressed that the government forces will not allow any attempt to overthrow the Riyadh Agreement.
According to al-Fadhli, the transitional has witnessed a crack in its ranks recently, and the governor of Aden, Ahmed Lamlis, failed to manage services, which prompted the council to flee from reality through the policy of threats and intimidation.
The return of the two states
But the head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidaroos Al-Naqib, told Al-Jazeera Net that all options are open for the people of the south to restore their state, including the application of Autonomous Administration and expanding it to be more comprehensive, so that services can be restored to the people.
Al-Naqeeb added that the goal of the transitional is not to obtain some ministerial seats in the government, in which the parity experiment is about to fail, but rather it is a struggle that leads to the return of the two countries, north for northerners and south for southerners, two states governed by good neighborly relations and respect for sovereignty.
According to the captain, Al-Zubaidi confirmed only the confirmed, indicating that the occasion for the conversation came on the fourth anniversary of the Aden Declaration.
On the Muscat negotiations, he said that they are related to two illegal northern components, but he stressed that international efforts to completely solve the crisis in Yemen will not be a partner in the south that does not concern the transitional council.
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In his speech, Al-Zubaidi was stressing that the next phase is promised to achieve political victories, without referring to them, which is explained by the head of the Gulf of Aden Media Foundation, Khaled Al-Choudary, that the transitional council seeks to be a representative of the south in any upcoming consultations.
Al-Choudary says to Al-Jazeera Net that the transitional insists on misleading public opinion about not involving the south in any negotiations despite the fact that the council is represented in the government.
He adds that the recent steps and statements of Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi over a period of months – during which he waved dialogue with the Houthis after the fall of Marib, and incitement against the first military zone in Seiyun, which is loyal to the government – fall within the framework of the understanding between the Transitional Council and the Houthis to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and the legitimate government.
He explained that the transitional believes that the factor of its presence in the south is the Houthi control of the north, whether through war or negotiations, referring to the secession of the country, south in the hands of the transitional council, and the north under the control of the Houthis.
Regarding the steps that the transitional may take during the coming period, Al-Chaudhry said that the council is capable of targeting government forces in Abyan and Shabwa, and will also incite the expulsion of the government from Aden and obstruct the implementation of the military and security parts of the Riyadh agreement.