Fri - 17 Jan 2020 - 09:12 PM ،،،

 In an interview with the President of the Southern Transitional Council Aidros Al Zubaidi with ‘AlFajr’ in the interview Al Zubaidi gave answers and clarified a number on the Jeddah talks and implementing the outcomes of the Riyadh agreement here is part one of the interview

Fajr: Did the southern dream come true ?
Al Zubaidi: Following the Riyadh agreement, the international legitimate acknowledgement of the southern issue and the dream to have an independent southern state became a reality. We are on the ground and we are awaiting international and regional recognition form international organisations like the Arab league, Arab states and the united nations . In pre 1990 we had an independent seat at the United Nations and the Arab League we are awaiting to re-instate them.

Fajr: Why don’t you announce the south as an independent state ?
Al Zubaidi: If we do that we will put our selves in a hole. We chose another route unlike Sudan and the Kurds; we were an independent state before 1990 and we will regain it by reinstating the public services, ministries and institutions and when we are stronger and  the time is right we will forcefully announce our independence. 

Fajr: What are the difficulties you face in implementing the  terms of the Riyadh agreement?
Al Zubaidi: All agreements have difficulties, to some extent, ‘ We face difficulties from the other side - the legitimacy doesnt want a partenrship’ he said and noted that the STC’s delegation is still in Riyadh negotiating on the second and third phases.

Fajr: What are your options if the legitimacy does not comply with he terms of the agreement?
Al Zubaidi: The Riyadh agreement will be implemented because they are already implementing parts of it .

Fajr: Is the military action on the table if the brotherhood militias do not withdraw?
Al Zubaidi: For us the military option is the last option but it still remains an option if they do not comply with the agreement and withdraw from Shabwa .

Fajr: Is there a war over the oil in the south ?
Al Zubaidi: The current global war  is an economical one . The current fight in Shabwa and Hadhrmaout because it has the black gold (oil) and the yellow gold; the Brotherhood concentrate on those rich production areas. We will not let them get away with that .

Fajr: Is the current scenario in the south similar to that in the Sudan?
Al Zubaidi: We did not reach to any agreement at the moment with the northerners but after separation and the two states return to what they were pre 1990 there will be economical trade agreements between the two states , at the moment we are still at war .

Fajr: How do you visualise the new southern state, will it be a federation or parliamentarian governance ?
Al Zubaidi: Us in the STC have chosen a democratic state that is based on the requirements and desires of its people .In the south the people are accommodated to republican state rules as previously both states were republican . We will not impose any particular choice on the people , they will have the right to elect and choose democratically what they want, we do not have any issues with that.

Fajr: What is your opinion on dividing the south?
Al Zubaidi: Those who talk about Hadhramout and the Eastern and Western regions  come from a very small minority the majority of the southerners aim for an independent southern state.

Fajr: What is your view on the brotherhood’s aggression against Shabwa ?
Al Zubaidi: Shabwa governorate faces attacks continuously at a time when us in the other governorates show great self-control because we do not want to spoil the terms of Riyadh agreement.

The legitimacy is putting us under great pressure and is counting on us to breach the Riyadh agreement because it does not want us to be a partner.

Translated by Sahar Noman