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[GENEVA – 26 SEPTEMBER 2019] As the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council concludes this week, representatives of the Southern Transitional Council in Geneva reiterate their commitment to ensuring human rights, rule of law, and accountability across South Yemen, as well as to urgently secure a credible political solution for the Yemeni crisis. Speaking following a delegation visit which included high-level meetings with Member States, UN Agencies, and NGOs, STC representatives said:

‘We welcome the continued attention on the situation in Yemen and the important discussions around the on-the-ground developments that have taken place at and in the margins of this HRC session. From the beginning, the STC has prioritized alleviating the human rights and humanitarian repercussions of the ongoing crisis on the Southern people, and this is particularly the case during the recent escalation that has afflicted Aden and other Southern governorates. In addition to acting swiftly to de-escalate the violence, STC teams in the South have worked diligently to protect the population in the South and their human rights. We firmly reject actions that violate human rights and international law against anyone, or seek to undermine the rule of law in the South. We have therefore made ourselves available to the people to investigate and tackle reported violations head on, including accountability for any crimes.

‘Throughout, a critical concern is the dire humanitarian situation. We are acutely aware of the increasing humanitarian needs and are committed to playing our part in ensuring aid and relief to and through the South is sustained and consistently reaches those who need it. We stand ready to engage with the UN Country Team to facilitate movement of aid workers and supplies without delay or hindrances. We expect and call on other parties to do the same.

‘We must be frank that as of now we are dealing with the symptoms and not the root causes of the issue. The lack of a genuine political solution, especially for the marginalization and grievances in the South, is a key driver of the cycles of violence and instability we continuously experience. Our collective focus must be to translate our concern into action and strong political will to secure a solution. As world leaders convene for the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly this week, they must breathe new life into the UN-led political process and establish a path to finally integrate the Southern issue and Southern representatives at the table. The STC is currently in Jeddah to pave the way for a sustainable solution for the South and Yemen. We look to working with our regional and international partners to seize this window of opportunity for progress – such opportunities will only get increasingly few and far in between the longer we wait’.

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