Yemen's STC Sets Conditions for Reopening Vital Roads

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-06-12 09:08 PM UTC

 

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen refused to open closed roads connecting the southern provinces to Houthi-controlled areas, putting forward certain conditions. 

 

The leadership of the STC, a separatist body in south Yemen, demanded a ceasefire and the formation of official committees to open the roads for civilians. 

 

A number of separatist leaders, including the head of the STC, Aidrouus Al-Zubaidi, said in a statement that the Council reviewed the latest initiatives regarding reopening closed roads in Yemen. 

 

However, the statement indicated that the reopening of roads should not happen randomly without a ceasefire agreement between the parties to the conflict. 

 

Over the past few days, the Houthi group and the authorities in Marib and Taiz agreed to open critical roads that have been closed since the breakout of the war in 2015. 

Early this week,  the defense minister of the Yemeni government, Mohsen Al-Daeri, said reopening the roads in Yemen should be subjected to a ceasefire agreement, warning against "randomness and haste".

 

However, many political parties and civil society organizations have welcomed the road reopening initiative in Marib, Taiz, and Al-Bayda. Today, the political parties in Taiz said lifting the siege on the City of Taiz is "a correction for an act criminalized by all laws and constitutions."

 

It added, "Roads are a public right for every human being, and blocking them is an assault on public rights and a violation of a right of citizenship. It is a crime under all laws and regulations and a right for people in conditions of peace and war." 

 

The war has taken a heavy toll on the road sector, causing civilians tremendous suffering. According to reports, the total length of the land road network in Yemen is estimated at  58,200 km, and 70% of it (about 40,870 km) is unpaved. 

 

Throughout the conflict, which began in 2015, land roads and bridges were exposed to attacks such as airstrikes and mine blasts. The Yemeni government revealed in 2019 that more than 6,000 kilometers of paved roads in urban areas linking provinces, along with more than 100 bridges, were destroyed. Reports by authorities in Sanaa said the war in Yemen destroyed 5000 km of paved roads in several provinces.