Yemeni government rejects southern autonomous council

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The government of war-ravaged Yemen on Friday rejected a self-proclaimed autonomous body in the formerly independent south whose formation is seen as an open challenge to the president’s authority.

An official statement issued after President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi met his advisors in the Saudi capital “categorically rejected” the South Transition Council whose 26 members include the governors of five southern provinces and two government ministers.

The body was announced on Thursday by Aidarous al-Zoubeidi, the recently fired governor of the southern province of Aden.

“Such acts remain baseless and will never be accepted,” the presidency statement said, adding that the move only served the Houthi rebels who have been fighting Hadi’s internationally recognized government for more than two years.

It urged those listed as council members “to declare a clear position” towards the new body.

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