STC declaration of self-administration rejected by majority of southern governorates

Local authorities in the governorates of Hadhramout, Shabwa, Al-Mahrah, Abyan, and Socotra have announced their rejection of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) declaration made early Sunday morning for “self-administration” in southern Yemen, calling it a coup d'état against the government and the Riyadh Agreement.

“The Southern Transitional Council announces the self-administration of the South from midnight on Saturday, April 25, 2020, and the self-administration committee shall begin its work in accordance with the tasks set by the presidency of the Council,” reads the statement released by STC President Aidarous Al-Zubaidi early Sunday, shortly after midnight.

Al-Zubaidi, who is based in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi along with much of the STC’s leadership, also declared a “state of emergency in the capital Aden and all of the southern governorates” and mandated southern military and security forces to implement “self-administration” immediately. The statement stops short of declaring an independent southern state.

By noon on Sunday, local authorities in five southern governorates had published statements rejecting the STC’s move.

“What was said in the statement of the Transitional Council is meaningless… militias cannot be a substitute for legitimacy,” the Shabwa Supreme Security Committee said in a statement seen by Almasdar Online. “We reject the STC statement, in full and in detail, and the state of emergency can not be authorized by anyone other than the legitimate president of the Republic.”

In Hadhramout, Governor Faraj Al-Bahsani issued a statement saying “Hadhramout governorate and its local authority stand together behind the political leadership and its president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.” He continued, “the local authority considers the STC declaration to be an irresponsible act and a violation of legitimacy and the Riyadh agreement.”

“All members of the society and political parties in Socotra stand together behind the political leadership and the legitimate Yemeni government,” the local authority and the security committee of Socotra said in a statement, calling the move by the STC “a coup d'état against Yemeni legitimacy and the Riyadh Agreement.”

For its part, the leadership of the local authority in Abyan confirmed its “absolute rejection” of the statement by the STC, calling it “a coup d'état on the Riyadh Agreement and constitutional legitimacy.”

“The people of Abyan, with all their associations and orientations, stand with the legitimate government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi,” the local authority announced, according to the state-run Saba news agency.

The local authority and security committee in Al-Mahrah governorate, headed by the governor and chairman of the security committee Mohamed Ali Yasser, similarly announced its rejection of the STC’s statement of self-administration.

“The so-called Transitional (Council) statement is a clear and explicit coup against the legitimate government and the Riyadh agreement,” it said, stressing that the local authority “adheres to the political leadership and the Yemeni government.”

Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami said the move amounts to a rejection of the Riyadh Agreement and a continuation of the STC’s “armed rebellion” that has been ongoing since August, when the separatist group executed a UAE-backed coup in the interim capital of Aden. 

“We look forward to our brothers in Saudi Arabia, the guarantor of the Riyadh Agreement and the leader of the Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, for a clear position and strict measures towards the continuation of the rebellion of the so-called Transitional Council and its cessation of the Riyadh Agreement.”

The STC’s declaration of a state of emergency comes against the backdrop of protests in the interim capital Aden, which denounced the power outages and raised slogans against both the STC and the Yemeni government.



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