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File picture shows members of Southern Transitional Council (STC) patrolling a road during clashes in Aden, Yemen. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (SCT) has suspended contacts with the government over implementation of a Saudi-brokered peace deal sealed between both sides more than a year ago.

The STC has directed its representatives at talks on implementing the deal, formally dubbed the Riyadh agreement, to stop all forms of direct contact with the government side in protest against what it called “practices of terror, intimidation and aggression” by Muslim Brotherhood militias in the south-eastern governorate of Shabwa.

The council accused the Islamist militias of cracking down on a rally Saturday in Shabwa controlled by government forces.

An SCT spokesman warned that these “aggressive practices” undermine the Riyadh agreement.

The council demanded the Shabwa issue top the agenda of implementing the deal before contacts could resume with the government side.

Last December, a power-sharing government comprising the STC and Yemen’s internationally recognised authority was formed as part of the Riyadh pact to refocus efforts on fighting Iran-aligned Al Houthi rebels who have plunged the country into a devastating now in its seventh year.