RNA - Last week saw an escalation of violence in southern Yemen, where UAE-backed southern separatists and Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to ex-Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi engaged in deadly clashes.
The two camps serve a coalition, which has been waging a brutal military campaign against Yemen since 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the Hadi regime and eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The rift was further exposed after the UAE termed the Saudi-backed elements operating in southern Yemen “terrorist militias," triggering Hadi to called for Saudi intervention in order to stop what he called Abu Dhabi's interference and support for the separatists.
On Wednesday, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) and the Saudi-supported self-proclaimed Hadi administration began indirect negotiations in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
In a statement released on Thursday, Saudi Arabia said there is no alternative to the Hadi regime in Yemen, threatening “to react decisively” to any attempt meant to destabilize the impoverished state.
Two unnamed officials told Reuters on Friday that the Saudi statement came after the Jeddah discussions reached a dead-end, adding that the rivals were gathering troops for further battle.
They noted that STC leaders had rejected the inclusion of their forces under the authority of the Saudi-backed Hadi regime.
The Jeddah talks, they added, also stalled over the UAE-backed separatists’ role in the Hadi administration after they asked for the vice-president position along with two major ministries.
“The situation is headed towards war, so be ready people of the south... Talks have failed, war is declared,” the STC’s so-called Security Belt forces tweeted on Friday.
According to Press TV, Yemen’s self-proclaimed information minister Moammar al-Eryani said: “The STC’s demands mean legitimizing taking up arms against the state."
“We cannot accept the existence of armed groups outside the government’s authority, it is against the constitution and the law,” he pointed out.
The militant infighting erupted in Aden last month, weeks after the UAE announced a surprise plan to pull out part of its troops from Yemen in a major blow to its coalition allies.
Ties between the two sides have soured over a number of issues, including what the Yemenis view as Abu Dhabi’s intention to occupy Yemen’s strategic Socotra Island and gain dominance over the major waterways in the region.