This American Statement raises a lot of controversy in South Yemen


Sat, 10-07-2021 01:23 AM, Aden Time

South24 (Aden)

Statement, on the official twitter account of the American Embassy in Yemen about South, has raised a lot of controversy among prominent politicians and activists, as well as thousands of Southern social media users.

The statement, issued by the Chargé d'Affaires for the U.S. Embassy to Yemen, Cathy Westley, hours after a major mass demonstration in Seiyun in the oil-rich governorate of Hadhramaut Thursday said: “Escalatory rhetoric and actions in Yemen’s southern governorates must end. We urge the parties to return to the dialogue focused on implementing the Riyadh Agreement”.

She warned that “Those who undermine the security, stability and unity of Yemen are risking international censure”.

This has irritated the Southerners who aim at restoring an “independent Southern State”.

Southern activists pointed out that the American statement contradicts with the democratic values boasted by Washington. They believe that the Yemeni unity ended after their state was invaded by the Northern Forces in 1994.

Others criticized the American ignorance of the violent crackdown against peaceful demonstrators and civilian in the southern areas controlled by governmental forces affiliated with islamists, indicating that such statements would incite more repression and human rights violations.

Hani ben brek, STC’s Vice President, said that: “it is an irony when someone wants to dictate the interests of your own country, and asks you not to demand independence, describing the popular will as being 'escalation’”.

Mohammed Al Ghaithi, Head of the STC General Directorate of Foreign, Affairs noted that “the continuous absence of strategy, ignoring the real causes of the conflict, and weakening the international decisions, by hindering their enforcement, led to the current situation”.

He warned that “continuing this floundering attitude would distract all parties from dealing with the re-emergence of terrorist activities, and not only produce a dangerous reality in North”.

As for Samar Ahmed, the STC’S Representative in the US, she expressed her frustration that “the US, the supposed beacon of rights and rights, turns a blind eye to the Yemeni government’s crimes against people in South”.

Salem Thabet Al Awlaki, Member of the STC’s Presidential Board stressed on  “the Council  existence on the ground”, and that it enjoys unprecedented popular support, considering  the regional and international reaction as “a natural matter”.

For his part, Ahmed Omar Bin Farid, Vice Chairman of the STC’s  Southern National Dialogue Committee asked  Cathy Westley to apologize for her statement. 

He asked her: “Can you publicly declare that you are against people’s right to assemble and self- determination? Aren’t these your country’s values?”.

Moreover, southern activists and journalists criticized the American statement, like Iyad Al Shoeibi who said: “Some ambassadors in Yemen transgress the diplomatic norms due to the absence of the state that reminds them of protocoles”.

Saleh Abu Awzal noted that “there is lack of response from Washington or its Embassy in Yemen towards the Qaeda’s return to Shabwa and Wadi Hadhramaut”.  He asked: “Why terrorist attacks and assassinations in South not considered a kind of escalation?”

Politicians saw the American statement as a “courtesy” for Saudi Arabia which issued a statement accusing the STC of escalating the situation.

Yaser Al Yafai said that “the recent Saudi and American moves aim to subdue the STC”.

The Saudi and Journalist writer and journalist, Abdullah Bin Moussa Al Tayer classified the American statement as part of the result of Saudi Minister of Defense, Khalid Bin Salman Al Saud to Washington”, describing the statement as “the strongest American message to the Separatists”.

On the other hand, southern analysts explained that the American statement “doesn’t necessarily mean it is directed to the Southern Transitional Council and the people South”.

They drew attention that the statement “calls for implementing the Riyadh Agreement, which is compatible with repeated STC’s calls that accuse the other party (the Yemeni government) of escalation and obstruction’.

Analysts confirmed that calling for not to escalate the situation in South, applies to the Yemeni government’s practises in the southern governorates of  Shabwa, Hadhramaut and Abyan and not the STC”.

“The Media outlet affiliated with the Yemeni Government consistently distorts facts” according to Salah Al Saklady he asked, via his Facebook account.

He added:  “if the STC is the party intended in the American statement about “who threaten the Yemeni unity in the southern governorates”, so who is intended when pointing at “The Riyadh Agreement parties who undermine Yemen’s security and stability”.

Northern activists believe that the American statement contains a warning message to the Islamic Islah Party after its forces’ latest escalation in South according to a seminar via Mounir Almaori’s Clubhouse Room.

Yehya Ghalib Al Shoeibi, a Member of STC’s Negotiation Delegation called for “not provoking the southern popular peaceful movement”stressing that this “ is not the first or the last and doesn’t target specific forces”.

The American Diplomat’s statement came hours after a setback of government-affiliated forces in Al Bayda’ after the Houthis regained their control on areas they had lost during the last days, especially Al Zaher.

Well-informed sources told “South24”that the US gave the Saudis the green light to support  a new escalatory military operation in Al Bayda’ to pressure the Houthis to accept the American ceasefire efforts hindered by the Houthis’ stubbornness.

Days ago, the Saudi Forein Ministry accused the STC of political and media escalation, in a statement which, according to observers, takes a “biased position in favour of one party of the Riyadh Agreement''.

The Kingdom called each the Riyadh Agreement’s parties to “immediately accept what have been agreed upon, to renounce disaccords and work according to the agreed mechanism as well as giving priority to the public interest to complete implementing its items”.

The STC has not commented on the statement, due to its apparent appreciation of the Saudi efforts.

The STC renewed its commitment to implement the whole Riyadh Agreement without picking.

In his speech, in the 7-7 Anniversary (Yom Al Ard), the President of STC, Aidarus Al Zoubaidy, reiterated about “the unified and common destiny with KSA, UAE and Gulf in general”.

The lack of any international vision to solve the South issue constitutes a strategic barrier hindering of peace efforts, and doesn’t instill feelings of trust within the southerners towards the international parties whose position, according to diplomats, is limited to promises to discuss the Southern Referendum issue during the supposed political process.

-South24 Center for News and Studies

-Photo: Cathy Westely (official)

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