South Yemen’s Collapsing Economy Sparks New Separatist Protests

Hadi government warns it won't tolerate property destruction

War has so far failed to restore the pro-Saudi Hadi government’s control of northern Yemen. Economic problems which have progressively grown throughout the war are threatening the Hadi government’s control of the south.

Widespread shortages, poverty, and power outages have led to organized protests in Aden and other southern districts. The protests are growing, with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist movement, encouraging demonstrations.

The Saudis have tried to force the STC into a power-sharing deal, which has slowed with the Hadi government reluctant to give up any real positions of power. The STC is now openly calling for public resistance against the Hadi “occupation.”

Hadi officials have said they will tolerate and protect the protesters, but will not allow “destruction of public and private property.” Already, at least one protester has been killed in Aden, and clashes have been reported elsewhere.

Years of war and a Saudi-led naval blockade have put all of Yemen in a particularly dire state, which is bad for what was already the region’s poorest nation. Yemen would normally have to import the vast majority of its food just to feed the public, and food scarcity has been growing throughout the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.