AL-MUKALLA: Fighting between government troops and separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces in Yemen’s southern Abyan province subsided as the Saudi-led coalition sponsored a fresh truce, local media and officials said on Tuesday.
Residents in Abyan said that the main road linking Abyan’s Shouqra with the port city of Aden was reopened for several hours on Tuesday to allow stranded travelers to return to their houses as warring forces traded fewer shells.
Last week, Yemeni government forces launched an offensive to drive out separatists from Abyan and Aden.
The STC on April 25 declared self-rule in Aden and other southern provinces, vowing to block the government’s return to Aden. Separatists put up fierce resistance, despite coming under heavy attacks from army troops.
On Tuesday, local media and members of the STC said fighting had abated after the Saudi-led coalition invited council leaders for talks with the government in Riyadh to end fighting and put into place the Riyadh Agreement.
A member of the STC, who preferred not to be named, said the council’s leader Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi would be traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks about a new truce to end fighting in Abyan and the STC’s self-rule declaration that obstructed efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus in Aden.
“Yes, president Al-Zubaidi would be traveling to Riyadh in response to an invitation from the coalition,” the STC member told Arab News.
Government officials refused to comment on reports of a truce, but local media said that the Saudi-led coalition was putting pressure on the government and STC to immediately implement the Riyadh Agreement that reduced tensions in Aden last year.