US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday Washington was ‘concerned’ over the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist group, declaring self-rule in Yemen’s south, warning such actions threatened efforts to revive talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia.
“Such unilateral actions only exacerbate instability in Yemen,” Pompeo said in a statement. “They are especially unhelpful at a time when the country is threatened by COVID-19 and also threaten to complicate the efforts of the UN Special Envoy to revive political negotiations between the government and the Houthi rebels.”
The Arab Coalition has announced a unilateral truce prompted by a United Nations plea to focus on the coronavirus pandemic. The Houthis have not accepted it and violence has continued.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government warned of “catastrophic consequences” after the STC on Sunday declared emergency rule in southern governorates including Aden, the interim seat of the government that was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthi group in late 2014.
“We call on the STC and the Republic of Yemen government to re-engage in the political process provided under the Riyadh Agreement,” Pompeo said.