Al-Zubaidi holds a joint meeting with the dialogue team and leaders of a number of Southern political factions, April 1, 2023 (official)

Restructuring the STC: Timing and Necessity


Mon, 17-04-2023 12:55 AM, Aden Time

After nearly 6 years of its establishment, restructuring the STC is considered the most advanced step which is expected to positively impact its performance

Abdullah Al-Shadli (South24)

On March 25th, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) President Major General Aidrous Al-Zubaidi, revealed a political, security, and military restructuring that aims to enhance the work and performance of the STC as well as absorb new Southern entities.

This came during Al-Zubaidi's meeting with STC's Restructuring Committee in the capital city Aden, in the presence of the top STC officials. 

STC media said that Al-Zubaidi was briefed to an adequate explanation of the efforts made by the committee to prepare the STC's regulations and systems as well as its current and new systems to organize its work in a way that keeps up with the expected changes and update in the structures and mechanisms of the work of STC’s central and local bodies. This also included supervision, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms related to its staff at various levels.

The statement added: “Al-Zubaidi instructed the need for the committee to proceed with the required standards and measures to assess the performance of the leadership and administrative staff in the different central and local STC’s bodies. This paves the way for the latter’s Presidium to take the necessary measures for making renovation, change, and circulation in all the council’s bodies as well as the engagement of the national forces according to logical bases and standards" 

On April 1st, Al-Zubaidi held a meeting in the presence of a number of Southern entities, including the Head of the Peaceful Southern Movement (Hirak) and former Justice Minister lawyer Ali Haytham Al-Gharib, the Chairman of the Supreme Council for the Revolutionary Movement Abdul Rauf Zain Al-Saqqaf and the Head of the Political Council of the Revolutionary Movement Council Fadi Hassan Baoom.

According to the STC official website, the meeting reviewed the understandings reached by the team of the Internal Southern National Dialogue with many political components to hold a consultative meeting about the National Charter Project to submit any remarks regarding it before ratifying the document which will determine the shape and the future partnership among all Southern parties and entities. 

These moves within STC came after intensified meetings made by the team of the Southern National Dialogue domestically and abroad. They also came amid STC’s endeavors to enhance its position as a representative of the Southern issue in the battle of politics and negotiations as part of the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and the whole Yemen crisis. 

After about 6 years of its establishment, restructuring STC is considered the most advanced move which is expected to positively impact its performance. Simultaneously, some concerns may accompany this big operation given the sensitivity of the current circumstances and STC’s need to focus on its external files. 

What will happen in the restructuring?

Statements by Al-Zubaidi and other STC officials drew the broad lines of the restructuring operation which will include recycling positions within the council at both central and local levels in the political, military, and security aspects. This process may include adding new Southern components and figures. 

In this regard, rapporteur of the Southern National Assembly and member of the Southern National Dialogue Nasr Harhara told "South24 Center": "Several moves will be carried out in the restructuring operation including updating the STC documents, especially its statute and the regulations of its different bodies".

He added: "Moreover, the STC political vision will be updated to keep up with the changes. Meanwhile, it will maintain the strategic goals. Furthermore, it will complete the bodies which have not been formed such as the Board of Advisors which is considered the second legislative room, the owner of the legislative initiative. It will serve along with the National Assembly and the Presidency as the STC's House of Commons".

Harhara pointed out that "the restructuring operation aims at developing the National Assembly, the General Secretariat of the Council as well as its local leaders in the districts. This will also include merging circles and committees which have similar work and the establishment of needed departments".

He added: "The membership of the bodies will be renewed for those who have been members for 6 years. This will happen concurrently with pumping young blood in the bodies, absorbing those who were not absorbed in the past and expanding the participation of women". He pointed to the security and military paths of the restructuring operation related to the Southern forces. Their goals are among the general purposes of the restructuring process.

Why now?

Political analyst Salah Al-Sakaldi believes that the "STC, 6 years after its establishment, is in urgent need to reformulate its organizational structure through a process of reviewing and evaluating its work and its political, military and security steps".

Al-Sakaldi told "South24 Center": "Absorbing new Southern figures will strengthen the STC in addition to the involvement of others in bearing the burdens of the difficult task and the heavy legacy, which the STC alone will not be able to sustain or handle".

Al-Sakaldi believes that "the desired restructuring operation requires will and credibility. STC has a clear conviction to open a wide horizon for the desired future". He added: "We don't only mean to review the political and regulatory track, but this certainly includes the two military and security institutions".

Al-Gharib exclusively commented to "South24 Center" on the restructuring process which will include the Southern officials and Southern entity which he leads 

He said: "This is a step in the right direction. It will answer many questions. It is part of building the Southern political system, and it is also in line with other measures aimed at the establishment of a unified Southern entity that confronts the Northern political actions on the Southern land".

He added: "Furthermore, it will constitute a national building for STC and its affiliated entities, especially since the structure comes amid daily accelerated circumstances witnessed by the Southern issue and in light of the big energies adopted by South Yemen. This has maintained the Southern identity and issue".

He continued saying: "The involvement of other forces and figures will necessarily mean strengthening the culture of reconciliation and tolerance, and confronting targeting the Southern issue from several internal and external parties".

In response to a question by "South24 Center" about the accuracy of reports that the Peaceful Movement Council will be subordinate to STC, Al-Gharib said: "Yes, in light of the aforementioned and until reaching Southern consensus through a consultative meeting that will be declared soon inshallah, we are looking forward to the unity of Southern national rank due to its strategic importance".

Harhara noted that "the restructuring operation is carried out after sufficient time has passed since the establishment of STC. This aims to assess and be aware of the points of strength to develop them and the weak points to avoid them". He added: "The operation coincides with the completion of the Southern National Dialogue process, which undoubtedly creates a need to expand the partnership, and to supply the Council with new blood".

"Meanwhile, this would enable STC to deal with the new entitlements and reap the fruits of the struggle of Southerners. This is considering what is happening currently in the region, and amid indications about the end of the war and entering a comprehensive political process," he added.

Sheikh Abbas Mohammed Bawazir, General Secretary of the Alliance and Gathering Bloc of Hadramout, stressed supporting restructuring STC.

He told "South24 Center": "Launching the Southern reconciliation and intra-Southern dialogue domestically and abroad by STC is something that confirms the credibility of its approaches and calls. All Southern politician entities should be under STC's umbrella as the latter holds the Southern issue and is a representative of it at all international and regional parties".

On the other hand, sheikh Jamaan Saeed, the Secretary-General of Arbitration of Hadramout Tribes does not have the same degree of enthusiasm towards STC's calls and the anticipated restructuring process. He told "South24 Center: "We, as Arbitration of Hadramout Tribes, don't intervene in the affairs of any other components and believe that any internal procedures are their own affairs".

He added: "As for our stance towards the Southern Dialogue, we support any call for dialogue, whether at the level of Yemen or Southern governorates. However, with each call for dialogue, we stress that it should be real, comprehensive, and with no ceiling".


Al-Sakaldi does not believe that the restructuring operation would pose any risks to the STC.

He said: "We talk about review, evaluation, and absorbing Southern forces and figures. We do not mean the type of restructuring talked by the parties that aims to swallow the Southern issue and the Southern military and security forces under a deceitful restructuring title".

Harhara stressed that the restructuring operation is not related to any risks. He added: "STC gained experience over 6 years after its establishment. Its documents, design, structures, bodies, the relationship between them, and the level of its performance were tested".

He added: "This restructuring is carefully examined in a way that would serve as a new momentum to improve the STC's work".

Regarding the current and big upcoming entitlements of Southerners, the restructuring move would make a revolution in STC's work. This would compete with the qualitative move in the Southern political work caused by the establishment of STC in 2017 under complex and accelerating internal and external conditions.

Abdullah Al-Shadli 

Journalist at South24 Center for News and Studies

South YemenSTCDialogue TeamHirakPolitical factions