Former South Yemen PM condemns UAE-backed Southern separatists as “racist failures”
SANA’A – Former Prime Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Yemen (also known as South Yemen) Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas, has strongly condemned the currently existing separatist organisations Southern Transitional Council (STC) and its affiliated Security Belt militia, both of whom are supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In an official statement that was published by the Yemen Press Agency, al-Attas vehemently denied allegations that he would have accepted chairmanship of the STC, calling the organisation “a failure” and accusing it of racism.
Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas was Prime Mininister of South Yemen, back then an independent country known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Yemen, from 1985 to 1990. After the unification of North and South in 1990, he was appointed Prime Minister of Yemen by then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. In 1994 however, in protest against the mistreatment of South Yemenis by the Saleh regime, al-Attas joined the rebellion of Southerners with the aim to re-establish an independent South Yemen, but this revolution was suppressed.
After the Saudi-led coalition invaded Yemen in March 2015, a new separatist organisation named the Southern Transitional Council was created under the leadership of Major General al-Zubaidi, with backing from the UAE. This organisation is however widely seen as a tool of the Emirati intervention. Haidar al-Attas was rumpured to be the successor of the STC, possibly as a way for the UAE-funded organisation to gain legitimacy.
However, the former Prime Minister has now clearly denied these allegations, stating that his history would not allow him to join an organisation such as the STC, adding that the movement had been popularly rejected by the South Yemenis themselves.