STC: South Yemen Must be at Forefront of Warsaw Discussions
[BERLIN – 13 FEBRUARY 2019] As Ministers convene in Warsaw for the Ministerial Summit to ‘Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East,’ Ahmed Omar Bin Fareed, EU Representative of the Southern Transitional Council, commented:
“The Yemen ministerial meeting in Warsaw is an important sign of the international community’s sustained focus on the crisis in Yemen and its resolve to address the suffering on the ground. The STC is clear that a political solution is the only way forward. We have seen relative movement on the political track recently led by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths. Despite these efforts, the situation on the ground is as dire as ever. It is therefore important that the Ministerial is part of a redoubling of efforts by our international partners to secure real progress on all issues concerning a sustainable political settlement to the crisis.
“A key component is the Southern issue. The STC and our constituency on the ground continue to advocate our legitimate grievances. Since Yemeni unification in 1990 and the war in 1994, the South has been marginalised at the hands of the authorities in Sana’a. Returning to the status quo before the civil war in 2015 is no longer an option. This message has been made clear by our people on the ground time and again.
“As the STC, we have a responsibility to be part of the solution. This means working with our people and other legitimate Southern actors to present a clear vision for how the Southern issue should be addressed through the UN-led political process. This is our offer to the international community and the political process under the auspices of Martin Griffiths. We stand ready to play an active role to ensure a genuinely inclusive political process.
“But our part in the process is only one element of the solution to the South. There is too an onus on the international community. The Summit in Warsaw is an important opportunity for our partners to put down a clear marker on the Southern issue. There is no point in ignoring the facts. Addressing the issue head on, including through Southern participation in the political process, creates the much needed conditions for progress. We agree such progress would not occur overnight and we have many further hurdles ahead of us. But the process of negotiations is about incentives and leverage on all actors to find an end result that sticks. It is not too much to ask that us Southerners seek a seat in these negotiations to determine our own future.”
Ahmed Omar Bin Fareed
Southern Transitional Council