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article imageOp-Ed: Yemen's Southern Separatists aim to occupy all of South Yemen

By Ken Hanly     Aug 17, 2019 in Politics
Aden - The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a large separatist movement that wants an independent Southern Yemen has rejected demands to give up Aden that it has seized from the Saudi-supported internationally recognized government
STC vows to take over the rest of South Yemen.
South Yemen was an independent country from 1967 to 1990. It was conquered by northern forces in 1990 but there have been forces within the south seeking independence again ever since. The STC is allied with the Saudis against the Houthis but the Saudis want a unified Yemen while the STC wants a separate country in the south. The UAE supports the STC.
The Saudis would like to make peace talks between the separatists and them conditional upon the STC giving up all the territory they have taken so far, basically the port of Aden, in effect giving up everything they have achieved. Instead it seems that the STC is threatening to take over the whole of Southern Yemen.
South Yemen
Wikipedia describes the former country now part of Yemen: "South Yemen, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (Arabic: جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية‎ Jumhūriyat al-Yaman ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah ash-Sha'bīyah), was a country that existed from 1967 to 1990 as a state in the Middle East in the southern and eastern provinces of the present-day Republic of Yemen, including the island of Socotra. It was also referred to as Democratic Yemen or Yemen (Aden). " In 1994 the south again declared independence from the north resulting in a civil war that the southern forces lost.
Moves towards a peaceful settlement
Somewhat surprisingly the STC has made moves towards a peaceful settlement for now as it has withdrawn from government offices and some buildings: "The supporters of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) pulled out of the headquarters of Hadi's government, the supreme court and the central bank, as well as Aden's main hospital, more than a week after seizing them, Hadi's information minister Muammar al-Iryani said on Twitter on Saturday. "Measures are being completed to hand over the interior ministry and Aden refinery to presidential guard units under the supervision of the coalition," he tweeted."
A joint Saudi-Emirati military delegation had traveled to Aden on Thursday to discuss the pullout of the STC backed by the UAE from positions that they had captured in Aden, the interim capital of the Saudi-backed government according to both sides. The result of the talks is that the STC has withdrawn from government buildings but they did not give back the five barracks that they have seized. The Saudis apparently threatened to bomb the separatists so perhaps this is a compromise to avoid further violence. However, it might not last as the STC with considerable public support in the south is not willing to have as the end result a unified government under president Mansour Hadi as the Saudis want. There has been a large march in Aden supporting the separatists. At best there is a temporary lack of violence but in an unstable situation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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