South Yemen Separatists Say Plan to ‘Ensure Security’ in Entire South of Country
AP Photo / Hani MohammedMiddle East04:11 21.08.2019Get short URL
CAIRO (Sputnik) – Yemen’s separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), which seized power in Aden, plans to establish control over the entire south of the country, Nasser Khabaji, a member of the council’s presidium, said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the internationally-recognized government in Yemen said that the STC forces seized a military base in Abyan belonging to government security forces. According to a source, six Yemeni soldiers were killed and several were injured in the fighting. In addition, he added that one civilian had been killed and another injured.
“The national duty of the Transitional Council is to ensure security in the entire south of the country,” Khabaji said, answering whether the STC had plans to establish control over the entire southern Yemen.
According to the politician, the forces loyal to the government of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi include militants from the al-Islah movement, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood* terrorist organization.
On August 10, after several days of fierce fighting, the STC, which is seeking independence for southern regions, took over military camps, government buildings and the presidential palace in the port city of Aden, which has been the seat of the Hadi. The STC, however, later agreed to join a ceasefire in Aden, thereby responding to the Saudi-led coalition’s calls for stopping hostilities, which had left dozens killed.
The tensions in Aden are underway amid the violent conflict between the government and the Houthi movement, which has been raging since 2015 and brought the country on a brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The Southern Transitional Council was created in 2017 around former Aden Governor Aidarus Zoubaidi, who had been fired by Hadi for his sympathies toward southern secessionists. The council is seeking independence and the return of the status quo that existed before the unification of North and South Yemen into single state in 1990.