Five Provinces Reject STC’s Self-Governance

Five provinces in southern Yemen have rejected the Southern Transitional Council’s (STC) decision to introduce self-governance and declare a state of emergency in the region.

According to the Riyadh-based  SABA news agency, citing the statement received from provincial authorities, the provinces of Abyan, Shabwah, Hadhramaut, Al Mahrah, and Socotra refused to support the council’s decision.

The separatists’ Southern Transitional Council, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, scrapped a peace deal with the Saudi-backed government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and declared a state of emergency overnight.

The separatists said they would “self-govern” the key southern port city of Aden and other southern provinces, accusing the government of corruption and mismanagement.

Hadi government said local and security authorities in the provinces of Hadramawt, Abyan, Shabwa, al-Mahra and the remote island of Socotra dismissed the move as a “clear and definite coup.” Some of the provinces issued their own statements condemning it.

The Abyan provincial administration confirmed renouncing the STC’s announcement by calling it a violation of the agreement reached in Riyadh on the termination of the military confrontation between the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) security forces, according to the outlet.

It added that residents of the Abyan province supported the legitimate government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Similar statements were made by the authorities in four other provinces.

The STC was created in 2017. The secessionist movement is backed by the United Arab Emirates, which is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has launched an air campaign against the Houthi in Yemen.

The separatists overran Aden, the temporary seat of Hadi’s government, and key southern provinces in August. The STC seeks the return of the independent state that existed in the south until 1990.

In November, the two sides reached a power-sharing agreement meant to end the infighting and unify ranks against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. But the agreement has yet to be implemented.