Saudis Push Yemen Govt Back to Aden to Resist Separatists

Tensions continue between Hadi govt and STC

After several meetings and third party deals on the future of southern Yemen, the situation between the Hadi government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) remains tense, and the Saudis are pressuring the government to get its officials back to Aden to try to participate in this power struggle.

The STC has been planning for years to restore the Republic of Southern Yemen at the end of this war, and has substantial influence across the south. The war has left the Saudi-backed government in control of territory roughly in line with the south, and the Houthis retain control of most of northern Yemen.

Early in the war, the STC largely stayed out of matters, but the conflicting interest with the government grew, with the Saudis heavily backing the government to the exclusion of others, and the UAE backing the STC separatists.

In recent years, this has led to open fighting, and the STC seizing large amounts of southern territory. Usually this is followed by the Saudis trying to restore the status quo with power-sharing deals. The problem is that with all power-sharing deals, the Hadi government tends not to deliver on sharing the power.

Their refusal to share power similarly ruined some talks with the Houthis earlier in the war. With almost the whole government in Riyadh at this point the STC is saying the government’s absence is leading to rising crime in Aden.

The Saudis seem to agree, and want the government back in Aden, even as they complain that the STC is controlling much of the Aden Province militarily. Indeed so, as they control most of the south militarily.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of