UAE-backed separatists in southern Yemen have warned of an “imminent war” with Saudi-sponsored fighters as divisions between the two sides continue to deepen.
Southern Transitional Council writes to UNSC members, accuses Yemen government of working with terrorist groups
Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Saturday issued a warning to international powers of more conflict in the war-ravaged country.
The UAE-backed separatist group sent letters to envoys of permanent UN Security Council member states, accusing the Yemeni government of working in tandem with terrorist groups.
The STC said the government wanted to spark a return of terrorism and violence in the southern provinces.
In a statement, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) said it had informed ambassadors of major countries to Yemen and the UN envoy Martin Griffiths that “the outbreak of war is imminent”.
The group accused Riyadh-backed government of violating a power-sharing settlement signed between the two sides last year.
The STC accused the Hadi’s government of trying to regain control of southern provinces in violation of a “sustainable political agreement” reached last November.
The statement also said that Hadi’s loyalists had attempted to overrun Aden, which was seized by the separatists last August.
Both the UAE-sponsored separatists and Saudi-backed forces loyal to Hadi serve a Riyadh-led military coalition which has been waging a bloody war on Yemeni people since March 2015.
Equipped and funded by the United Arab Emirates, the separatists have long sought southern Yemen to secede.
They had initially agreed to fight under the Saudi-led military coalition, but recently and after a decision by the UAE to effectively withdraw its forces from Yemen, the group has turned its weapons on rival forces loyal to Hadi.
The infighting has highlighted deepening divisions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two countries that are leading the war on Yemen.
Ties between the two sides have soured over a number of issues, including what the Yemenis view as Abu Dhabi’s intention to occupy Socotra Island and gain dominance over major waterways in the region.
The Yemeni government blames UAE-backed separatist movements of rebelling against the government in Socotra province, which comprises six islands.
Last Saturday, government forces took back control of a military camp in Socotra that was seized by STC separatists.