A rally in Aden, August 15, 2019. REUTERS

Thu - 15 Aug 2019 - 03:05 PM ،،،

 The spokesman of of the Southern Transitional Council in London, Saleh Alnoud said in his statement to Reuters that STC would keep control unless the Islamist Islah and northerners were removed from positions of power in the south.

"We are there to remain but to remain for a positive reason: to maintain stability," he said, adding that "Any position of power has to be in the hands of Southerners. Southerners need to be given the power to govern themselves and Southerners need to be engaged as an equal partner in the peace process."

He said the only way out of the stand-off was for all elements of the Islamist Islah party - one of the backbones of Hadi's government - to be ousted from all positions of influence along with any northern politicians.

"That would be a very good start if Islah was removed from the whole of the south and allow southerners to govern themselves," he said. "We consider the government was infiltrated or controlled by the Islah."

One possible way out, Alnoud said, would be to hand over responsibility for security of barracks to the Security Belt, the military wing of STC, or Aden Police.

Alnoud said the Aden developments were the most significant turning point in Yemen for years and that southerners would no longer accept being sidelined.

"The Saudis need to make a decision: do they want to win the war against the Houthis? If they do, then they need to recognise us - STC - to govern and manage the south even in the transition period," he said.

"I would say to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: if you really want to win the war, the southerners have been credible partners, have shown they can engage constructively... but in return they need to keep the south clean from these corrupt Islah-affiliated officials."

"We can still be part of Yemen, Hadi can still be president but the south is to be ruled and governed by southerners." he said, making it clear "I am not trying to avoid saying we will break away because that is a real possibility now," Alnoud said, adding one option was for two governments: one in the north and one in the south.