South Yemen Separatists Withdraw Negotiators From Unity Deal

STC says move is protest for recent violence in Shabwa Province

South Yemen’s separatist movement, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has withdrawn its negotiating team from the joint committees established to implement the unity deal with the Saudi-backed Yemen government.

Salim al-Awlaqi, a member of the STC presidential council, said the move was in protest of recent violence against STC supporters in Shabwa Province. The STC is blaming Islamists within the Yemen government for this violence.

The November unity deal was meant to end fighting over territory in South Yemen, including the de facto capital of Aden. The Saudi-backed government has refused to implement much of it, and has resisted deadlines, saying it is unfair that their elected government, even if its mandate ended many years ago, should have to share power with a separatist group.

It’s not clear that this will immediately mean a resumption of hostilities in the south, however, and the STC may just be trying to gain some leverage by suspending cooperation.

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.