Talks to end violent south Yemen power struggle stall

ADEN: Talks to end a violent power struggle in south Yemen have stalled and both sides appear to be preparing to resume fighting, officials said on Friday, suggesting more turmoil lies ahead on a new battlefront that risks further fragmenting Yemen.
Saudi Arabia is hosting indirect talks to resolve the crisis between separatists and the government amid a rift.
The war for the south between the two nominal allies in the coalition is threatening to complicate UN efforts to end the multi-tiered war, which contains conflicts within conflicts.
Saudi Arabia called on the separatists, who seek to revive the former South Yemen republic, to cede control of Aden and voiced its support for President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government on Thursday, threatening “to react decisively”.
Two Yemeni officials said the statement came after the talks, in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, reached a dead-end and both sides were gathering troops to prepare for further battle. Leaders of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), rejected the inclusion of their forces under the authority of the government, they said.
The STC has tens of thousands of fighters armed and trained by armed forces.
“The situation is headed towards war, so be ready people of the south… Talks have failed, war is declared,” the STC’s Security Belt forces said in a twitter post early on Friday.
The talks also stalled over the separatists’ role in the government, after the separatists asked for the vice-president position along with two major ministries. Yemen’s current vice-president is Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, a politically powerful army general allied with Hadi.
Yemen’s Information Minister, Moammar al Eryani, declined to give details on the talks, but said “the STC’s demands mean legitimising taking up arms against the State”.
“We cannot accept the existence of armed groups outside the government’s authority, it is against the constitution and the law,” Eryani added.
The breakaway movement is part of the coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore Hadi’s government which was ousted from power by Ansar Allah in the capital Sanaa in late 2014.
But the separatists seek independence and turned on the government in early August and captured Aden, its interim base. Southern fighters have clashed with government forces elsewhere in the south as they tried to extend their reach.
On Thursday, the separatists organised a rally in Aden where thousands of Yemenis gathered in support of the UAE.
They openly intervened to support the separatists by launching air strikes on government forces as they tried to recapture Aden, forcing them to withdraw. — Reuters