South Yemen Separatists Seize Palace as Leader Calls for Govt Overthrow

Five separatists reported killed as protesters storm palace

While generally participating in the Saudi and UAE-led invasion of Yemen, the separatist movement in South Yemen has long been an unresolved issue, and looks to be coming to a head. Recent attacks on separatist loyal troops were blamed by the leadership on Islamist groups trying to undermine them in favor of the government.

That quickly led to a call to outright overthrow the Saudi-backed  Hadi government, and with hundreds of separatists attending funerals of slain troops, it didn’t really require much of a call to action for separatists to just head down to the presidential palace in Aden and take it over.

While the guards tried to stop them from doing so, killing at least five protesters at the palace, they fairly quickly took the palace anyhow. Yemen’s Interior Minister called it the separatists “declaration of war” against them, and said the protest was seditious.

This could rapidly escalate into a major civil war within the ongoing Yemen war, as well, because while the Saudis heavily back the existing Aden-based government, the separatists are aligned with the United Arab Emirates, who have their own major faction of loyalists.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.