Yemen Govt, Separatists Agree to Merge Governments

STC stopped seizing territory in return for substantial power share

Over a year after signing the Riyadh Agreement, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the UAE-backed southern separatists, the Southern Transitional Council (STC), have begun implementing the deal.

The deal was meant to end the STC contesting control of southern Yemen, and in return they would get substantial power-sharing deals in the Yemeni government. At the time, this was put on hold as the government expressed opposition to sharing.

This, and the resumption of fighting between the two sides off and on, has led to the assumption that the deal was just dead on arrival. It is not clear what led to revisiting the idea, though there have been reports of UAE-backed separatists fighting al-Qaeda, and this may signal a unifying issue.

If the deal holds, this could be a very positive sign beyond just South Yemen, as power-sharing would be a good start to settling the nationwide war as well. The big reason it hasn’t gained ground was that the Houthis doubted the government would stick to the deal if reached.

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.