Sana’a: A former Yemeni governor, recently sacked by the president, arrived in Saudi Arabia from Aden on Friday after forming a political council rejected by Yemen’s internationally-recognised government, Yemeni officials said.
Aidarous Al Zubaidi, along with former Cabinet Minister Hani Bin Braik, both known to be close to the UAE, were invited by Saudi officials in the latest bid to ease tensions with Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Al Zubaidi’s council, known as the “transitional political council of the south,” was formed after thousands of Yemenis rallied in his support, but was seen by Hadi’s government as an act that “targets the country’s interests, its future and social fabric.”
The new council, consists of 27 southern leaders including former Cabinet minister Hani Bin Braik, who was also dismissed by Hadi.
The group does not, however, include prominent members of the Southern Movement, Yemen’s decade-old separatist organisation, actors who have political weight and influence needed in the region.
At last week’s rally in Aden, thousands of southern separatists rallied in Al Zubaidi’s defence, issuing a statement they said authorised him to form a political entity to represent southern Yemenis. The demonstrators declared the former governor’s followers “legitimate representative of the people of the south” on regional and international levels.
Aden has been the seat of Hadi’s government since 2014, when Al Houthis forced him out after seizing the capital, Sana’a.