Yemen separatists abandon self-rule in push for stalled peace deal

A major step towards closing a dangerous rift between nominal allies


Yemen’s leading separatist group announced that will abandon its aspirations for self-rule to implement a stalled peace deal brokered by Saudi Arabia. Nizar Haitham of Southern Transitional Council (STC) made the announcement early Wednesday in a major step toward closing a dangerous rift between nominal allies in the chaotic proxy war.

The separatist groups have pledged to implement a Saudi-brokered power-sharing agreement with the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Yemeni PM.

The power-sharing agreement was thrown into disarray earlier this year, igniting clashes across southern Yemen and the Socotra archipelago, when the separatists seized control of the southern port city of Aden, the interim seat of the internationally recognised government.

 The announcement marked a major step towards closing a dangerous rift between the nominal allies in Yemen's chaotic proxy war, and came hours after Saudi Arabia presented a plan to “accelerate” the stalled peace deal's implementation.

The standoff between their Saudi’s and UAE’s Yemeni allies has frequently erupted into violent turmoil, complicating broader peace efforts to end the five-year conflict. The conflict, over the years has killed more than 112,000 people.

As per the proposal, a government will be formed in 30 days and a new governor and security director for Aden an STC stronghold will be appointed. “We have achieved our goals” Nizar Haitham, said in a Twitter post.

“The Southern Transitional Council announces the abandonment of the declaration of self-administration to allow the Arab alliance to implement the Riyadh agreement,” he added.

 Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center in Doha, Qatar, said Wednesday's developments indicate that “all parties are tired and exhausted by this conflict”.

 “But I'm not sure the Riyadh agreement can be implemented, taking into consideration two important facts,” he was quoted as saying in an Al Jazeera report

 “There is no long-term vision. There are different parties with different agendas and no agreement on where things should go” Zweiri said.