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article imageOp-Ed: STC refuses to negotiate or cease fighting in Yemen

By Ken Hanly     May 13, 2020 in Politics
On Monday there was fighting in Zinjibar between Hadi's Yemen government forces supported by Saudi Arabia and Southern Transitional Council (STC) troops supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
STC refused to negotiate
The Yemen government now claims that the STC has refused its offer to de-escalate the conflict and negotiate the future of South Yemen rather than continue fighting.. The STC appears to still have control of Zinjibar. On April 25th the STC had declared self-rule in the southern areas of Yemen they control including the southern port capital of Aden.
The aim of the STC all along has been to create a separate state in the south as had existed previously.. This puts them at odds with Saudi Arabia and the former Hadi government which is fighting for a unified Yemen. Both the UAE and the Saudis are allied in fighting the Iranian supported Houthis who control much of the north including the capital Sanaa.
The STC declared self-rule recently, aiming to reestablish South Yemen as an independent state. The Saudi-backed government has a big problem with this, however, because Hadi wants a unified Yemen. The Saudis and UAE had brokered a power-sharing deal with the STC and the Hadi government last fall but the Hadi government had always resisted the sharing and the deal is now dead with the STC declaring independence in effect. The STC announcement makes it clear that it does not intend to try to reach another compromise but to rule territory they already control.
Continued conflict likely
The UN and others have been requesting the two sides to stop the conflict so that both can work to counter the COVID-19 epidemic which is helping cause a huge humanitarian crisis in the country. The health infrastructure in Yemen is week and not prepared to deal with the epidemic. The Saudis declared a unilateral ceasefire but the Houthis refused to reciprocate and in any event the Saudis appear to have not honored the ceasefire.
Mohammed al-Hadhrami, t
he Foreign Minister of the Hadi government said that the STC had refused calls from the Yemen government and the international community to reverse its position and agreed to negotiate. Al-Hadrhami said that the Yemen army would do "everything necessary to preserve the state, its institutions, and the safety of its citizens against (the STC).”
In a speech this Monday Aidarous al-Zubaidi called for his forces to be ready and urged people in areas they control to defend their national gains. It appears that fighting will continue between the STC and the Hadi government and also between them and the Houthis. This can only exacerbate the situation for Yemenis as the face the COVID-19 pandemic.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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