South Yemen Separatists Declare Emergency, Trying to Handle Protests

Protests mount across south amid economic collapse

Protests in southern Yemen continue to grow this week as economic collapse fuels unemployment and widespread shortages. The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist group, has declared a state of emergency in the area, vowing measures immediately.

Years of war in the Middle East’s poorest country have made things even worse, while a Saudi blockade has kept basic goods, including food, in desperately short supply. This has many protesters complaining that the Hadi government is a failure.

The STC seems to be struggling with its own reaction, as earlier in the week they were backing the protests against Hadi occupiers, but now several cities have reported STC fighters clashing with the demonstrators.

Either way it’s a growing problem, with the early reports of hundreds in Aden and several other districts in the south quickly turning into thousands of people in the streets.

Protester demands aren’t totally clear either, as they are just desperate to get out of the disastrous ongoing war, and hope to have input in future governance. Since Hadi was “elected” in 2012 in a single-candidate vote, in what was meant to be a short term leading to free elections. Since then, Hadi has unilaterally extended his term several times, and resisted the idea of elections to the point of having the Saudis invade to keep him in power, on the grounds that the UN endorsed the 2012 vote and that therefore nearly a decade later he is still the UN-backed leader.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.