"The current government is illegitimate, and the political (annex) of the agreement must be implemented"
STC defends blocking prime minister’s return to Aden
The Southern Transitional Council (STC) released a statement Thursday to defend the blocking of the prime minister and his staff from returning to the interim capital Aden. The group said it took those steps to “protect gains and preserve national achievements.”
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik said he was returning to Aden to lead the government's disaster relief efforts following this week’s flooding that left dozens dead and injured.
The UAE-backed STC laid out several reasons in its statement for the group’s escalation against the government, culminating in the physical blocking of the government at Aden airport.
The STC said the government failed to carry out the tasks stipulated in the Riyadh Agreement. It also accused the government of preventing the implementation of the agreement by blocking STC members of the joint implementation committee, including the head of its negotiating team Ahmed Al-Sharafi, from returning to Aden. The government also prevented Aden Security Director Shallal Shaye’a from returning to Aden, the statement added.
"In accordance with the Riyadh agreement, the current government is illegitimate, and the political (annex) of the agreement must be implemented, which the Yemeni government has blocked…,” the statement said.
In a statement released Thursday evening, the Yemeni government blamed the STC and its armed forces for blocking their return to Aden.
The government accused the STC of ignoring the suffering of Aden’s residents, saying government services have deteriorated since the STC takeover of Aden in August and have been exacerbated by recent flooding.
The STC insists that the political annex of the Riyadh Agreement must be implemented first, while the Yemeni government says the military and security components are crucial and necessary to pave the way for the implementation of the political component.
On April 21, torrential rains flooded most of Aden’s neighborhoods, leaving eight people dead, among them children. Dozens were injured and property damage to the governorate was extensive, including the collapse and partial collapse of dozens of homes.
"The scale of the damage and losses to Aden due to [floods] was enormous," Abdulmalik said.
He called on allies and relief organizations to assist in the relief efforts, as well as the swift implementation of the Riyadh Agreement in order to strengthen the state response.
Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs