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Yemen War: Why Did Separatists Declare Autonomous Rule In South? – OpEd


Separatists in southern Yemen have declared self-rule, breaking a peace deal with the internationally recognised government, and the Aden-based Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared a state of emergency, they want govern the port city and other southern provinces. Yemen’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami told the transitional council its intention to establish a southern administration is a resumption of its armed insurgency and an announcement of its rejection and complete withdrawal from the Riyadh agreement.

On the other side, the Saudi Arabian-backed government in Yemen has warned of a catastrophe if the country’s powerful separatist movement forges ahead with its declaration of self-rule over the key port city of Aden and other southern provinces.

Towards ending Yemen’s civil war, the UN has put an important step to protect the country and the two sides in the signed power-sharing deal.

With respect to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, unlike Saudi Arabia, has backed the STC, so the move has the potential to create tensions between the two close Gulf allies against one another. This will leave the political map of Yemen even more fractured.
The UAE supports the separatist Southern Transitional Council, while Saudi Arabia backs the internationally recognized Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. All are against the Iran-aligned Houthis.

The real conflict start in 2015 when the Houthis seized control of much of the west of the country and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour  Hadi to flee abroad.

The UN has reported the verified the deaths of at least 7,500 civilians, with most caused by coalition air strikes. But a monitoring group has estimated that the fighting has killed 112,000 people, including 12,600 civilians.

The aims, of the  STC, which favors splitting Yemen’s south from its north, has long tangled with the Yemeni government, but the group and the UAE disapprove of Hadi’s alliance with al-Islah, an influential Islamist party. On the other hand, the Saudis view al-Islah as part of Yemen’s political fabric.

The UAE and the STC oppose any role for al-Islah because of its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, a regional political Islamist movement that the Emiratis and other Arab rulers have labeled as terrorists.

STC and the government signed a peace agreement in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It was hailed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Western powers as paving the way for a broader political solution that would end Yemen’s civil war and humanitarian crisis, the agreement composed of equal numbers of southerners and northerners, for the separatist forces to come under the control of the government, and for the STC to return all government buildings it had seized.

In the end, it has become clear that mistrust had deepened once again and the civil war will start again.

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Miral Sabry Al Ashry

Miral Sabry Al Ashry is an Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department.

One thought on “Yemen War: Why Did Separatists Declare Autonomous Rule In South? – OpEd

  • April 29, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Former president Abdrabbuh Mansouri Hadi did flee the country and from Saudi Arabia he instigated the killings of his own people.How can anyone blame the Houthis for wanting to be free?


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