Yemen govt warns Southern separatists to refrain from self-rule or face consequences

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Yemen's internationally recognized government warned the Southern Transitional Council (STC) against exercising their call for “self-rule,” and to return to the Riyadh agreement, or else face the consequences of their actions, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The Southern Transitional Council must comply and implement the Riyadh agreement and refrain from exercising their call for ‘self-rule.’ Otherwise, they will bear responsibility for everything that will follow as a result of their continued insurrection,” the ministry said in the statement posted on the Twitter account of Yemen’s embassy in the US.

The STC announced a self-administration rule in the south as of April 25 and applied emergency rules in the city of Aden and all the southern governorates.

Yemen’s government said in its statement that it has repeatedly tired to “engage constructively with all efforts to implement the Riyadh agreement,” but it was met with “intransigence” by the STC.

The November deal agreed in Riyadh aimed to end the power struggle in south Yemen. The agreement stipulated that the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and other regions in the south join a new national cabinet and place all forces under control of the internationally recognized government.

Shortly after the STC’s “self-rule” announcement at the end of last month, Saudi Arabia urged all parties in the south of Yemen to abide by the Riyadh agreement.

Yemen’s foreign ministry warned in its statement: “The responsibility of a national army is to defend its homeland, to protect its security and territorial integrity, to confront every armed rebellion and to restore any undermined government institutions and their legitimate authority. The National Army of Yemen will do everything necessary to preserve the state, its institutions, and the safety of its citizen.”

The STC is part of the Sunni Muslim alliance that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore power to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government. But the separatists, who had sought self-rule in the south, turned on the government in August and seized its interim seat of Aden.

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