On November 5th, Yemen’s Saudi-backed government reached a peace agreement with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) to end the power struggle over Aden, Yemen.
As per the agreement, reached after more than a month of indirect talks in Saudi Arabia. The STC would join a new cabinet along with other southerners and all armed forces would be placed under government control. The Saudi puppet government’s control.
“This agreement will open, God willing, broader talks between Yemeni parties to reach a political solution and end the war,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a televised signing ceremony in Riyadh.
“This agreement will open a new period of stability in Yemen. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands with you,” he added.
Both Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and STC leader Aidarous al-Zoubeidi attended the ceremony in Riyadh, along with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
US President Donald Trump hailed the agreement as a “very good start” and hoped that a final deal would be reached.
A very good start! Please all work hard to get a final deal. https://t.co/IYGeBqQIQ9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019
In August, the STC-dominated Security Belt Forces took control of Aden. Yemen’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that more than 300 people were killed and wounded by UAE air strikes on Aden and Abyan Province.
“The Yemeni government condemns the Emirati air strikes against government forces in the interim capital Aden and in Zinjibar, which resulted in civilian and military casualties,” Deputy Foreign Minister of the Saudi-backed government Mohammad al-Hadhram said.
The UAE and forces it backs shifted their focus from fighting against the Houthis in the south of Yemen, to fighting against the Saudi-backed government, further widening the rift.
Bin Breik further said over Twitter, that the STC had two major goals:
- To defeat the Houthis in the south;
- To defeat Al-Qaeda and ISIS, which they consider are propagated by the Saudi-backed government.
Despite that it appears that progress was made, as there was an agreement reached and now focus may, once again, shift on the Houthis.
The fighting exposed simmering divisions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, leading the coalition carrying out the intervention in Yemen.
The Houthis have offered to halt all attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of a wider peace initiative, later repeating their proposal despite continued air strikes from the Saudi-led coalition.
Regardless, Saudi Arabia is on the back foot in the fight against the Houthis, with or without the UAE’s support in the intervention. The agreement between the UAE-backed STC and Yemen’s “internationally recognized” Saudi puppet government simply delays an outcome that seems more inevitable with time.
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