BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – The head of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council in Yemen, Aidaroos Al-Zubeidi, said on Tuesday that “US President Joe Biden can help end the 6-year-old war in Yemen by supporting the UN-sponsored referendum on the independence of the south.”
Al-Zubaidi said, in an interview with the British newspaper, The Guardian, that “the referendum will show 90% support for the independence of southern Yemen, and it should take place exclusively inside the south,” noting that in the Brexit referendum, the European Union voters did not get a chance to vote.
Biden’s envoy for Yemen affairs called for talks with the Transitional Council, saying, “The issues in the country will not be resolved if the voice of the south is ignored. We need a referendum, or another mechanism, for the people of the south to express their views.”
Al-Zubaidi said that some individuals seek to sabotage the agreement , and warned that the current Houthi attack on the oil-rich Marib Governorate is likely to cause a disaster for the refugees, but it may also change the political landscape by depriving the government of Abd Rubbah Mansour Hadi of its last remaining territory in northern Yemen.
He added, “The fall of Marib would have dire consequences, not only on the humanitarian level, but it could speed up the process of international talks between the north and the south, and lead to a situation in which the Southern Transitional Council controls most of the south, and the Houthis control most of the north, in this case.”