Ceasefire between coalition and southern separatists in Yemen, Saudi Arabia send observers

June 25, 2020

The Yemeni government led by President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi and the southern separatists reached an agreement for de-escalation and ceasefire in Abyan province. Saudi-led coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki announced this, adding that the resumption of dialogue to reach an agreement between the parties will take place in the next few days in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The tensions, in this case, concern two former allies, both formally part of the anti-Houthi coalition, the Zaidite Shiite insurgents supported by Iran who have controlled the Sana’a capital since 2015.After the signing of the Riyadh agreement last November, tensions started to rise again in April, when the Southern Transitional Council (CTS) – which has military forces and more support than that of President Hadi – unilaterally announced the autonomy of the southern regions under its control. The Republic of Yemen, in the south of the country, remained independent until 1990. Since then, and until the outbreaks of the uprisings against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the southern regions have not enjoyed the development and reforms envisaged in return for reunification with the northern regions.

In this context, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition sent a group of observers to Yemen to monitor the ceasefire between legitimate government forces and fighters from the CTS. Saudi officials arrived yesterday, June 24, in Chagra and Cheikh Salem, two areas at the center of clashes between pro-government forces and separatists, both located in the province of Abyan, to monitor the truce.The move comes after the separatists occupied the strategic Yemeni island of Socotra, off the coast of Aden on June 20.

“We regret the latest developments in some southern provinces and call on the parties to prioritize Yemen’s national interest and put an end to the massacre,” Maliki said. The archipelago, located in the Gulf of Aden, is of strategic importance for the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, in the Bab el Mandeb Strait, considered the gateway to the Red Sea. A mirror of water through which millions of tons of crude oil pass each year.

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