government and separatists sign power-sharing agreement in the South

The Yemeni government recognized by the United Nations should find its base in the city of Aden in return for the integration of separatists within it.

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Communicated by the Saudi Royal Palace to Agence France-Presse, this photo shows the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen at the signing of the peace agreement on 5 November. BANDAR AL-JALOUD / AFP

The internationally recognized Yemeni government signed a power-sharing agreement with the separatists in Riyadh on Tuesday (November 5th) to end a conflict in southern Yemen, a country devastated by a war with multiple fronts.

According to Yemeni and Saudi political sources, the agreement provides for the inclusion of separatist members of the Southern Transition Council (TCC) in the government and the return of the latter to Aden, the big city of the South.

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The separatist forces of the JTS took control of Aden in August, which had become the base of withdrawal of the government after its expulsion from the capital, Sanaa (in the north of the country) in 2014, by Houthi rebels from the north Yemen. Southern separatists are in principle allied with pro-government forces in the war fought since 2014 against Houthi rebels with the support of a military coalition dominated by Saudi Arabia. But deadly fighting has pitted the two camps in the south in recent months, opening a new front in the conflict.

"Saudi Arabia stands at your side"

"This agreement will open a new period of stability in Yemen. Saudi Arabia stands by yousaid Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the signing ceremony, broadcast on television. "It's a day of joy for Saudi Arabia when it sees the Yemenis together", he added.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths hailed "The signing of this agreement, an important step for our collective efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Yemen". "Listening to stakeholders in the South is important for political efforts to bring peace to the country"he added in a statement.

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Saudi Arabia, which leads an anti-Houthi military coalition, sponsored talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah (West) between the Yemeni government and the JTS. Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and STC leader Aidarous Al-Zubeedi witnessed the signing of the agreement.

Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and strongman of the United Arab Emirates, also attended the ceremony. His country, a key member of the anti-Houthi coalition led by Saudi Arabia, also supports separatist forces in the South.

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