Sudyemen: renunciation of autonomy against power sharing

The fronts in yemen. Green: huthis. Red: hadi. Yellow: stc. Female: al-qaeda. Gray: is. Map: themaplurker. License: cc by-sa 4.0

The united arab emirates-backed military "transitional council of the south" now wants to fight again on the side of the sunni alliance led by the saudis

The al-majlis al-antaqali l-janubiyy, the yemeni "transitional council of the south" (english abbreviated: stc), announced today via twitter that it has rejected the 26. April in the former sudjemeni capital of aden has withdrawn autonomy. For this, representatives of this organization are to be included in the cabinet of the sunni abd rabbo mansur hadi, who claims power in the whole of yemen.

The stc was founded in 2017 by aidarous al-zubaidi after the latter had previously been ousted by hadi as governor of aden. According to al-zubaidi, this came after he accused hadi of cooperating with the islah party, which is considered representative of the muslim brotherhood in yemen. Hadi, however, claimed that the presidential claimant had dismissed al-zubaidi because of his ties to the united arab emirates.

The latter were previously part of the saudi-led sunni alliance behind hadi, but subsequently supported the stc, which engaged in skirmishes with the sunni alliance on the borders of the territories it controlled.

An independent state from 1967 to 1990

Sud yemen, which the separatists wanted to restore, was an independent state from 1967 to 1990, having sided with the soviet union in the cold war. Previously, it was the british protectorate of aden, which according to the colonial power’s original plans was supposed to become the united arab emirates "foderation sudarabia" was to become. The guerrilla groups that took power in 1967 chose instead to call themselves sudyemen, which contributed to their successors seeking a new livelihood in a union with their northern neighbor after the flow of money from the eastern bloc ended.

Just four years after this unification, many sudyemenis were so dissatisfied with the outcome that they attempted a military secession. However, this failed, as did a second attempt at secession in 2009 and 2010. This second rebellion was carried not only by tribes but also by radical sunnis and supported by then al-qaida leader naser al-wahishi. To distance himself from this, tariq al-fadhli, the son of the former sultan in the british protectorate and a temporary leader of the independence movement, published a video in 2010 in which he raises the american flag in front of his house and sings the american national anthem (cf. Failed state?).

Sunnis and shiites, saudis and iranians

But the old border between the north and the south is not the only one that divides the inhabitants of yemen: while the sunnis live almost exclusively on the coast and in the east of the country, the zaidite shiites predominate in the northern highlands and make up 42 percent of the population nationwide. In the 1990s, zaidite religious leaders badr al-huthi, hussein al-huthi, and abdul malik al-huthi founded the revival movement "shabab al-mumin" ("faithful youth") in response to aggressive wahhabi proselytizing attempts financed with saudi money. This shiite counter-reformation conquered the western half of yemen by february 2015 and deposed the president.

In march 2015, a saudi-led international sunni alliance halted the shiite advance, but has so far failed to defeat the huthis despite a crude expenditure of materiel and logistical and intelligence assistance from the united states (cf. Saudi arabia: $200 million a day for the war in yemen). According to the saudis, this is also because the shiite huthis are supported by shiite iran, the regional god-state rival of the wahhabi oligarchy. Iranians and huthis officially deny this, but are at pains to explain the origin of drones and other weapons otherwise.

In the south and east of the country, the yemeni al-qaida branch aqap took advantage of the opportunity and conquered larger territories after the saudi intervention (cf. Al-qaeda conquers al-mukalla). Except for small areas in the governorates of abyan, al-baida and lahij, it has lost them in the meantime. The is terrorists, who also controlled larger areas in 2015 (cf. Black flags in aden), now control only a handful of villages in the middle of such an al-qaeda zone north of rada.

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