At Least 54 Killed as South Yemen Ceasefire Collapses in Abyan

Both sides blame the other for violating truce

A Saudi-brokered ceasefire between the Saudi-backed government in Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has not lasted long, and after tensions on the island of Socotra, fighting erupted in Abyan Province.

Fighting has raged over 24 hours in Abyan Province, with at least 54 fighters killed. Both sides are blaming the other for starting the fighting and “violating” the truce. Monitors are still heading into Abyan, but it’s not clear there is a ceasefire left to monitor.

A coastal province, Abyan has often been contested by the STC, and the same territory was under dispute during the Arab Spring, when Islamist groups tied to al-Qaeda seized several towns in the area, including the provincial capital of Zinjibar.

The STC intends to declare South Yemen an autonomous republic at the end of the Yemen War, while the Hadi government insists that they will keep Yemen united. The Saudis had aimed at power-sharing talks, but the Hadi regime has rejected giving power to the unelected STC as unfair.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.