Yemen gov't rejects formation of "southern transitional council"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-13 03:31:27|Editor: yan
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ADEN, Yemen, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni government on Friday rejected the formation of new "transitional political council" that seeks the secession of southern Yemen.

On Thursday, Aidarous Zubaidi, a former governor of Aden, Yemen's main southern city, declared in a speech that the council consists of 26 southern senior tribal, military and political leaders including former Cabinet minister Hani Bin Braik.

The new council would represent and administer the south, as Zubaidi said.

An official statement issued after Yemen's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi met his advisors in the Saudi capital "categorically rejected" the move that seeks the secession of southern Yemen.

"Such moves remain baseless and will never be accepted," the presidency statement said, adding the new council only served the Houthi group.

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

Hadi, whose government is internationally recognized, has been based in Riyadh since March 2015, when the Shiite Houthis forced him out after seizing the capital Sanaa.

Hadi sacked Zubaidi on April 27 along with Bin Braik, which provoked thousands of southern Yemenis demonstrating last week in Aden to urge setting up a new leadership body to represent the south.

Yemen has been suffering from a civil war for around two years. The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh ousted the UN-backed transitional government and occupied the capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014.

The legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi-Saleh alliance controls the remaining areas including Sanaa.

The civil war, ground battles and airstrikes have already killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians. Such conflicts also injured more than 35,000 others and displaced over two million, according to humanitarian agencies.