On Wednesday, July 29, Yemeni southern separatists, the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) rescinded a self-rule declaration made in April following renewed diplomatic efforts by Saudi Arabia heal political rifts in the south of the country. The STC agreed to abandon its self-rule in Aden and areas of Abyan province through an accord that will give the group representation within a new Yemeni government to be formed within the next 30 days and will aim to equally represent southern and northern Yemen. A new governor, Ahmed al-Amlas, has also been appointed on Wednesday for the contested city of Aden.
According to an announcement by Saudi Arabia, military forces are expected to leave Aden province, a ceasefire that was agreed to in June should be maintained, and military forces located in Abyan province should also retreat to their previous posts. It is currently unclear whether additional coalition forces will be deployed to the area to provide security.
Nominally allies against the Houthis in Yemen's ongoing civil war, Southern Transitional Council (STC) fighters have frequently clashed with government forces over control of southern Yemen since August 2019. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly attempted to intervene in the dispute, brokering a power-sharing agreement in November 2019, but previous efforts have failed to resolve the crisis and the STC declared self-rule in Aden and other key southern provinces in April 2020.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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