Yemen warring parties ink power-sharing deal

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EYEAFRICA TV: Sanaa, Yemen: Parties involved in southern Yemen’s conflict and observers have all called for an early restoration of peace in the region after a power-sharing agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and opposition forces to end violence.

The Saudi Arabia-brokered deal was signed on Tuesday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh by the Yemeni government and the opposition Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist group that used to fight Houthi forces together with the government.

According to the deal, the government forces will return to the interim capital Aden within seven days and all the country’s military units will be commanded by the ministry of internal affairs and the ministry of national defense.

Yemen will form a highly efficient government with the cabinet posts being evenly allocated to the north and south, according to the agreement.

The STC welcomed the agreement, calling it a fundamental and time-bound document.

“This agreement initiates a new phase where the partnership of the Southern Transitional Council and the Yemeni government has been specified under the supervision of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We believe this agreement will act as a fundamental document that underscores timeliness,” said Nizar Haytham, official spokesman for the STC.

Yemen’s deputy prime minister Ahmed Saeed al-Khanbashi and the Southern Transitional Council representative Nasser al-Khabji shake hands during the signing ceremony. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

According to Yasser Al-Yafei, an Aden-based political analyst, the majority of the people living in the south hope the agreement is implemented as soon as possible.

“People in the government-controlled areas, especially people living in Aden, have pinned high hope on this agreement after experiencing violence for several months. They hope to end the current plight of lacking public services and live a better life, and incorporate the factions of security forces into one as soon as possible,” said Al-Yafei.

However, some analysts worry about the real implementation of the agreement, citing a lack of trust between the signatory parties.

“If this agreement fails, fiercer armed conflict will break out between the two sides, thus causing more new problems, because many clauses in this agreement are not clear enough. So no matter which side regrets, Yemen’s southern provinces will once again fall to violence and war and more problems and a bigger crisis will come along,” said Mohammed Shamsan, a Sanaa-based analyst.

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