UNSC concerned over developments in southern Yemen

Soldiers of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) stand guard during a rally in Aden, Yemen.

United Nations, (Asian independent) The UN Security Council has expressed strong concern over the declaration of self-rule in southern Yemen by the Southern Transitional Council (STC).

In a statement on Wednesday, the members of the Security Council expressed their concern that the STC actions could distract from the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to secure a nationwide ceasefire, confidence-building measures, and the restart of a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned inclusive political process, reports Xinhua news agency.

The STC, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, on April 26 declared self-rule in the country’s southern port city of Aden and other key southern provinces.

In the statement, the council members reaffirmed their strong commitment to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and called for the expediting implementation of the November 2019 Riyadh Agreement, a power-sharing deal between the STC and the internationally recognized government, which is supported by Saudi Arabia.

The Council also members urged the Yemeni government and the Houthis to reinforce their engagement with a view to reaching agreement on the UN special envoy’s proposals as soon as possible.

They welcomed the announcement of the Saudi-led military coalition of its extension of a unilateral ceasefire in support of the UN peace process, and urged the Houthis to join the government of Yemen in reciprocating immediately, in order to stop ongoing hostilities and counter the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since March 2015 in a bid to restore the Yemeni government.

The Houthis are believed to have the support of Iran.