Saudi-led coalition in Yemen urges end to escalation in south

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The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen on Monday urged a leading separatist group that declared self-rule in the south to rescind its move, saying it was an “escalatory action” at a time all parties should focus on confronting the novel coronavirus.

The move by the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) threatens to renew conflict between the STC and the Saudi-backed government, nominal allies under the coalition, even as the United Nations tries to secure a permanent nationwide ceasefire over the coronavirus pandemic.

Yemen’s internationally recognised government warned of “catastrophic consequences” after the STC on Sunday declared emergency rule in southern governorates including Aden, interim seat of the government that was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthi group in late 2014.

“The Coalition urges an immediate end to any steps contrary to the Riyadh Agreement, and work rapidly toward its implementation,” the alliance said in a statement, referring to a power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia in November.

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