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The deal calls for the formation of a new government that would have equal representation for northerners and southerners.
Yemen’s Saudi backed government signed Tuesday a power-sharing deal with the separatists’ Southern Transitional Council (STC). The agreement was signed under the supervision of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) who welcomed it as the first consequent step to end the multifaceted war whose principal victims are civilians.
The deal, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, calls for the formation of a new government that would have equal representation for northerners and southerners. All military and security forces will be incorporated into the defense and interior ministries, and the STC would join any political talks to end the war.
“This agreement will open, God willing, broader talks between Yemeni parties to reach a political solution and end the war,” MBS said in a televised signing ceremony in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to restart negotiations to end a war that killed nearly a quarter of a million, displaced more than 3 million people and has pushed the country to the brink of starvation; said the deal was an important step in peace efforts.
“Listening to southern stakeholders is important to the political efforts to achieve peace in the country,” he stated in a tweet.
United States President Donald Trump, a strong ally to Saudi Arabia also praised the agreement with a post on his Twitter account. “A very good start! Please all work hard to get a final deal,” he wrote.
After the Saudi led coalition launched a war in the impoverished country in 2014 to fight the Houthi movement that ousted the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from the capital, Sanaa; a new front in the war was opened in August, fracturing the coalition driven by the Gulf nation.
Riyadh has since been trying to find a way out of the stand-off to refocus the fighting and the military efforts against the Houthis on its border.
Separatist forces that turned on Hadi’s government seizing his interim seat in the city of Aden, seek self-rule in the south of Yemen. They were supported by Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the war against the Houthis, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).