Aden, August 10, 2019: The Women's Solidarity Network has followed with great concern the armed hostilities in the capital Aden that has occurred over the past four days between southern forces supporting the Southern Transitional Council and the Legitimate Government.

The Network strongly deplores this dangerous escalation leading to a new a bloody cycle of conflict in which there is no victory. Fear and sadness replaced the joy in the hearts of the people who were preparing with the rest of the Muslim world to celebrate Eid al-Adha.

The Network has repeatedly noted the importance of seeking a just solution for the South issue and including southerners to participate in the peace process. In our letter addressed to His Excellency President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in August last year, we called for the importance of making the Southern issue a priority and opening up to all southern factions and facilitating a South-South dialogue. We have also prepared a strategic framework to achieve stability in the capital, Aden, that included a set of security, economic and social priorities, including the importance of prioritizing disarmament and the removal of the military camps and weapons depots from the capital. In November last year, in our briefing to the Security Council, we warned of the importance of addressing the three decades of grievances of southerners, and last April, we briefed the UN Security Council warning that the delaying of addressing the South issue is a ticking bomb that will lead to another level of conflict. Our voices were not heard or taken seriously.

Tomorrow, as we receive Eid al-Adha with despaired and broken hearts about the loss of lives of innocent people, and the blood that has been shed, because of a conflict that could have been prevented through genuine openness and serious dialogue of the South issue, we call on the conflict parties to stop the violence and armed confrontations, normalize life in the capital Aden, and engage in a political process. We call on the regional and international community to support this track and to include the South issue as core agenda item in the peace negotiations.

Issued by the Women's Solidarity Network