Southern Transitional Council of Saudi Arabia: expel “reform” or lose the war

Yemen’s southern transitional council vowed Wednesday to continue controlling Aden, warning that the only way out of the impasse that shattered the Saudi-led military coalition was to “expel Islamists and northerners from positions of power in the country.”

“The abandonment of Aden is not on the table right now,” Saleh al-Nood, a spokesman for the UK’s Transitional Council office, said in an interview. “We are there to stay, but we will stay for a positive reason: to maintain stability.”

Al-Nood pointed out that the end of the confrontation should exclude all elements of the Islamic Reform Party from positions of influence alongside any northern politicians.

“It will be a very good start if the Islah party is removed from the whole south and the southerners are allowed to govern themselves. We consider the government to have been hacked or controlled by the reform,” he said, noting that one possible way out is to hand over responsibility for barracks security to The security belt or the police of Aden.

“Southerners must be given the ability to govern themselves and must participate equally in the peace process. We can still be part of Yemen. Hadi can be president, but the south will be ruled by southerners,” he said.

Nod said the southerners would no longer accept their marginalization. “The Saudis must make a decision: Do they want to win the war against the Houthis? If they do, they need to recognize us – STC – to rule and manage the south even in the interim,” he said.

Riyadh has called for an emergency summit without setting a date. Deputy Foreign Minister Hadi Mohammed al-Hadrami said on Monday they would not attend unless the UAE stopped supporting separatist fighters after the coup.

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