Yemen war: Separatists declare autonomous rule in south

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Separatists in southern Yemen have declared self-rule, breaking a peace deal signed in November with the internationally recognised government.

The Aden-based Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared a state of emergency, saying it would govern the port city and other southern provinces.

The STC is supported by the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government warned of “dangerous and catastrophic consequences”.

“The announcement by the so-called transitional council of its intention to establish a southern administration is a resumption of its armed insurgency… and an announcement of its rejection and complete withdrawal from the Riyadh agreement,” Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami said in a statement.

The two sides signed a power-sharing deal that was described by the UN as an important step towards ending Yemen’s civil war.

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A Saudi-led coalition launched a military intervention in support of the Yemeni government in 2015, after Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa. The UAE is a member of the coalition but supports the southern separatists.

In August last year, the STC took over the government’s temporary capital, Aden, after accusing the administration of mismanagement.

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