South Yemen Separatists Give Up Call for Autonomy, Make Deal With Saudis

Deal came under intense pressure from Saudi Arabia, UAE

Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist movement, has announced that they are abandoning calls for an autonomous South Yemen, saying that they will instead pursue the Riyadh agreement on power-sharing that was proposed months ago, and had seemingly failed.

A long-time separatist movement, the STC wants to reassert a Republic of South Yemen, Amid the war, the STC took control over several southern cities, and argued that the Saudi-led war should end with Yemen split again. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had been backing the STC, with an eye toward having more post-war influence in southern Yemen.

The Saudis and UAE proposed the Riyadh agreement when the fighting first broke out, seeking a new government in which the STC would be given equal representation, within the Hadi government.

That’s where things fell apart last time, with the Hadi government feeling the STC didn’t deserve equal representation, and the STC noting that they could just as easily go back on the offensive and take the southern cities they control.

STC officials say the Saudis and UAE pressure them for a deal, but the real question is if the Hadi government will make good on the assurances of representation going forward. If Hadi officials were willing to share power, the war likely would’ve ended years ago.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of