What Happened: The Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Emirati-supported Southern Transitionary Council (STC) are reportedly close to reaching an agreement over control of Aden, Reuters reported Oct. 7. According to the deal, Saudi forces would take temporary control of the strategic port city, and STC representatives would be included in the government of President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi.
Why It Matters: The deal would bring an end to STC control over Aden, which it seized after splitting from the Hadi government in August. It would also bring the STC closer to gaining sufficient political leverage to develop autonomous status or even independence in southern Yemen. Finally, a deal would allow the Saudi-led coalition to focus on negotiations with the Houthi rebels, potentially altering the conflict dynamics of the country's ongoing civil war.
Background: The STC is attempting to move toward its long-term goal of achieving autonomy in southern Yemen, while the Saudi-led coalition aims to preserve the country's territorial unity and resolve the political differences between the STC and the Hadi government. The STC is a close ally of the United Arab Emirates, which announced a partial troop withdrawal from Yemen in July.
- How Iran's Attack Will Shape Saudi Arabia's Regional Stance (Oct. 2, 2019)
- Southern Yemen Inches Toward Independence. But at What Cost? (Sept. 19, 2019)
- A Renewed Southern Push for Autonomy Risks Deepening Yemen's Woes (Aug. 14, 2019)