The Riyadh Agreement: A Summary of What You Need to Know
In November 2019, a political agreement was signed between Yemen`s internationally recognized government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This agreement, known as the Riyadh Agreement, aimed to end months of conflict between the two sides and unify their efforts against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Here`s a brief summary of what you need to know about the Riyadh Agreement:
What led to the Riyadh Agreement?
The division between the government and the STC started in 2018 when the Yemeni government refused to hand over control of the southern city of Aden to the separatists. The STC, supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), declared self-rule in southern Yemen, leading to clashes with the Yemeni government and further exacerbating the war in the country.
The Riyadh Agreement aimed to address the grievances of the STC and bring them back into the fold of the internationally recognized government.
What does the Riyadh Agreement entail?
The main points of the Riyadh Agreement include:
1. The formation of a new government with equal representation of the north and south.
2. The reorganization of military forces under the command of the Yemeni government.
3. The return of state institutions to Aden, including the central bank, the port, and the airport.
4. The integration of STC forces into the Yemeni military and security forces.
5. The formation of a committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement.
The Riyadh Agreement also called for a ceasefire between the government and the STC, which has largely held since the signing of the agreement.
What are the challenges to implementing the Riyadh Agreement?
The implementation of the Riyadh Agreement faces several challenges, including:
1. The Houthis continue to control large parts of Yemen, making it difficult for the government and the STC to focus on unifying their efforts.
2. The Yemeni government is facing economic and humanitarian challenges, including widespread poverty, hunger, and disease, which may divert resources from implementing the agreement.
3. Some Yemeni factions outside of the government and the STC have criticized the Riyadh Agreement, arguing that it does not address the root causes of the conflict in the country.
4. The UAE`s recent decision to withdraw most of its forces from Yemen has also raised concerns about the STC`s ability to maintain the gains it has made in southern Yemen.
The Riyadh Agreement is a significant step towards ending the conflict between the Yemeni government and the STC and unifying their efforts against the Houthis. However, the implementation of the agreement faces many challenges, and its success will depend on the ability of all parties involved to overcome these obstacles.