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UAE-backed STC 'committing atrocities against hospitalised civilians' in Yemen

The Southern Transitional Council are backed by the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 September, 2019

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UAE-backed militias allied with the Southern Transitional Council have been complicit in crimes against civilians in the southern governorates of Aden and Abyan.
A United Arab Emirates-backed militia must stop committing human rights abuses in the southern cities of Aden and Abyan, a Yemeni human rights group has urged.

Last week up to 40 civilians were killed when the UAE bombed Yemeni government forces in Aden in support of the Southern Transitional Council.

Amsterdam-based group Rights Radar found STC forces had carried out mass arrests and attacks on civilians.

"Field monitors of Rights Radar said that Aden has witnessed a campaign of mass arrests and home attacks committed by the militants of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council against the local residents for political reasons since August 10," the group said.

The attacks on civilians had also extended to detainees and hospital patients.

"Some of these grave abuses are considered as war crimes, including physical extermination and executions against the detainees and the wounded persons in hospitals."

The rights watchdog called on the international community to hold the STC to account.

"RR has called on the international human rights organizations to closely follow up the human rights situation in Aden and Abyan and monitor and document the human rights abuses there, including the abuses which are considered as war crimes so that the perpetrators of these abuses do not go unpunished," the group said in a statement.

The separatists, who seek an independent South Yemen, seized Aden on August 10 following heavy clashes with government troops. The major gain saw them press on to take other strategic areas, before being pushed back.

The southern question has reportedly caused tensions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both allies in a military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia seeks to preserve Yemen's unity and is a staunch supporter of the Hadi government, whereas the UAE is backing the separatists who seek an independent South Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has in recent weeks been privately expressing "extreme irritation" with close ally UAE when talking to Yemeni government officials.

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