South Yemen Peace Deal Crumbles, Fear of New Fighting

Yemen again faces 'war within a war'

The ongoing Saudi invasion of Yemen is meant to displace the Shi’ite Houthis, who control the nation’s north. The Saudi-backed government controls parts of southern Yemen, but with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) separatists there, a secondary “war within a war” looks increasingly likely.

Over the last six months, fighting has been heavier in South Yemen than almost anywhere else. The Saudis tried to stop that by making a power-sharing deal between the government and STC. The government hasn’t kept that deal, however, and it has effectively collapsed.

While there is still effort to keep talks going and prevent a new round of fighting in the south, the failure of the talks means that it is probable that the STC will once again try to reclaim the southern capital of Aden, and other key areas.

Unlike the Hadi government, which operates on the assumption that the Saudis will eventually install them in charge of the entire nation, the STC is just trying to take over the southern areas, and intends to declare an independent Republic of South Yemen in the process. Though this is not ideal from the Saudi perspective, it may ultimately be the most realistic way to end the nationwide war, as southern autonomy was always going to remain an issue.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of