Is the Southern Transitional Council the strongest player in the Yemeni crisis?


Mon, 25-01-2021 11:37 AM, Aden Time

South24| Analysis

Recent years and months have been crowded with important events and changes around the world, which, according to their nature, prompted a number of countries, administrations, systems, and political forces to change in their dealing with challenges internally and externally, including political performance.

For example, the new US administration pledged to change a wide range of US policy internally and externally, against the backdrop of recent events that stormed the US interior, after the emergence of dangerous right-wing extremist movements. 

While France responds to a process of change in its political performance, due to the events of the cartoons of the Islam's Prophet inside France. The UK had preceded the two countries, making a qualitative leap in its policy, with its final exit from the European Union.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is pledging to bring about the biggest change in its political performance through Vision 2030. Egypt is taking steadfast steps to strengthen its role in the region, while not neglecting by reducing the role of political Islam groups. The peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates,Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco represented a radical change in the strict Arab political concepts and positions towards Israel, which remained a red line for decades and thus reshaped the region's alliances.

Resistant to change

In Yemen, some international players may have thought - after what happened of coup by the "Ansar Allah" group (the Houthis) against the legitimate government of Yemen and the overthrow of the capital, Sana'a, in light of the absence of a political undertaker who could bring about real change, and in light of the penetration of the reactionary culture in the state,- that the Houthi may be the exclusive undertaker to bring about political and ideological change for the better.

However, the Houthi group, backed by Iran, has proven its enormous and dangerous ability to do the exact opposite, by reproducing the political mentality involved in exporting terrorism and threatening international peace and security.

After the previous US administration expressed its concerns about the Houthi group, the Houthis on December 31, 2020, through their missile targeting of Aden International Airport during the arrival of the new parity government, proved the validity of American concerns, which ultimately  led Washington to classify the Houthis as a global terrorist organization.

Sanaa has remained as it was resistant to change, with its radical Islamic tendency, and even unable to take ownership of its political decision, when the Iranian ambassador to Sanaa appeared in the position of controlling the decision of the Houthi group and its extreme military and ideological agendas.

The nature of the northern performance of the Houthis and the organization of Muslim Brotherhood have stood in the way of political attempts in South Yemen.

Bilateral of conflict

This reinforces the description of the conflict in Yemen as a bilateral conflict between North Yemen and South Yemen, and confirms the need for a two-state solution as a healthy and sound entry point for the desired political change to take place in the region.

In the south, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) is striving to present itself as a strong political undertaker capable of bringing about a change in its political performance, in line with the aspirations of the world and the region, in fighting and rejecting extremism and terrorism and establishing and preserving international peace and security over its important places of control in southern Arabia on the international shipping line.

The strongest player?

At this time, the Southern Transitional Council and the Yemeni government alike are seeking to take all military and security measures to protect Aden and the cities of South Yemen, enhance regional and international security, and strengthen efforts to combat terrorism, which witnessed a retreat in Shabwa Governorate, east of Aden, after the Islamic forces took control of it.

The importance of these steps lies in the fact that they come after the failure of an attempt by the Houthis to target the new government with ballistic missiles, while it arrived at Aden International Airport at the end of last December.

This also coincides with the new US administration’s preoccupation with repairing its modern internal wounds caused by the Trump administration, which will be reflected in one way or another on its external performance and its handling of all outstanding issues in the region during the near period.

In this exceptional circumstance, the security and military repercussions of the Yemeni crisis, along with the seriousness of the Houthi military agenda and capabilities, should occupy a top priority for regional and international allies and political forces in the south.

The STC president, Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi, was aware of these complexities, when last week he called on the United States to directly intervene, and called for military measures to be taken to protect Aden from the escalating Houthi threat.

The factors of military strength and the political pragmatism of the Southern Transitional Council, along with the broad popular support in South Yemen, have made the STC the strongest party in the arena of the Yemeni crisis, and the most reliable even for moderate political forces in North Yemen, as well as for Arab and international parties that see the need to achieve tangible change leading to A comprehensive peace and a final solution to the crisis in Yemen.

Bader Mohammed
Fellow at the South24 Center for News and Studies, a researcher specializing in Yemeni political affairs.

Southern Transitional CouncilSouth YemenYemenHouthis