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[WASHINGTON D.C. – 30 January 2020] The Southern Transitional Council (STC) welcomes the United States government’s call for all parties to de-escalate renewed violence in Yemen and commitment to demonstrate leadership alongside international partners to bring peace, prosperity, and security to Yemen.

The STC is firm on the primacy of a political solution to the South issue and Yemeni crisis. Action to force a military strategy – including the escalation in the areas of Nehm, Jawf, and Ma’rib over the past two weeks – will only condemn the Yemeni people to further death and destruction. This, the Yemeni people cannot afford. This latest round of fighting, while harmful to the goodwill established in the recent period, must spur a redoubling of political efforts toward a sustainable political solution for Yemen.

In the South, we’ve seen firsthand how instability, if left unaddressed, can quickly spill to other parts. This is why following the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, the STC acted swiftly to implement its terms and enable its success. We facilitated the return of the Yemeni Prime Ministers and other Ministers to Aden and we continue our counter-terrorism role within the Coalition. Furthermore, on 9 January, we finalized phase two of the implementation process with the Yemeni government, which included agreement on significant measures.

Civilian protection and Southern stability remain the principal aims of the STC. The build-up of military and terrorist groups, such as Islah, in Southern governorates, including in Shabwah and Abyan, presents a serious risk to the successful implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and stability in the South. Southern people on the ground in these governorates, and across the South, continue to need protection and seek a solution for their legitimate grievances.

As UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths intensifies his efforts to bring all Yemeni parties, including the STC, together within the UN-led political track, we look to the United States and our international partners to ensure the full implementation of the Riyadh agreement. Crucially, we look to them to ensure this critical moment is a stepping-stone to inclusive credible political talks, and a sustainable solution for Southerners and all Yemenis. The STC stands ready to do our part toward that end.

Abdulsalam Mused

Chairman – STC Directorate General for Foreign Affairs – USA

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