Friends of South Yemen

Pattern strip

Saudi’s new balances on Yemen

The Italian Institute for International Political Studies looks at the latest developments in the conflict in Yemen, deteriorating Saudi-Emirate relations, the role of Oman in mediation and the situation in the south.

Click here to read the article by Eleonora Ardemagni of ISPI.

20th July 2021

What’s happening in Marib?

The struggle for Marib began with the Arab coalition’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015. The Houthis are trying desperately to capture the city. If they succeed, the balance of forces on the ground will change and this will affect any subsequent peace negotiations.

Click here to read Mutahar Alsofari's insights into the significance of the battle for Marib.

21st May 2021

Report on role of Tribes in Conflict De-escalation

For the latest report from the Washington-based Middle East Institute: Peace building in the time of war - tribal cease-fire and de-escalation mechanisms in Yemen, click here.

April 2021

The troubled history of ceasefires in Yemen

Al-Jazeera looks at the latest peace proposal put forward by the Saudis and documents the trouble history of ceasefires in Yemen.

Click here to read Al-Jazeera’s report.

23rd March 2021

Refocus needed to solve Yemen’s problems

A recently-published report by the Rand Corporation argues that a refocus, at least in the near-term, on international peace building and state building efforts on Yemen’s southern and eastern governorates, may be more productive than reconcilation.

To read a summary of the report and its findings, click here.

March 2021

Two autonomous regions:


The announcement by US President Joe Biden on February 4th that America has formally ended its support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen may bring the war to an end. The president also put a halt to the sale of related US weaponry and appointed Timothy Lenderking as the US’s first envoy to Yemen.

Click here to read FOSY’s full analysis.

15th February 2021

What the new US envoy to Yemen can do

Timothy Lenderking has been appointed as the new US envoy to Yemen. Dr. Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg the GCC’s assistant secretary-general for political affairs and negotiation provides a list of seven key areas in which he could exert a positive influence.

Read the full analysis by Arab News.

9th February 2021

A to-do list for Yemen’s new government

The new government faces many challenges and there is a lot of unfinished business it has to attend to.

Ibrahim Jalal proposes a to-do list.

1st February 2021


The latest report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen stated: “The Government of Yemen is, in some cases, engaging in money-laundering and corruption practices that adversely affect access to adequate food supplies for Yemenis, in violation of the right to food. The Government of Yemen implemented a scheme to divert funds from the Saudi deposit, in which $423 million of public money was illegally transferred to traders. A total of 48 per cent of this amount was received by the Hayel Saeed Anam Group.”

In a statement issued on January 31st the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group rejected in the strongest terms any wrongdoing in relation to the KSA-CBY deposit. The statement pointed out that the HSA group had not been consulted by the Panel before these allegations were published.

The Chairman of Friends of South Yemen, Abdul Galil Shaif said, “Throughout the course of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, HSA have committed to maintaining an uninterrupted supply of products across Yemen, where millions of Yemenis rely on HSA for their basic daily needs.” He added: “It is unfortunate that the Panel did not consult HSA with these allegations before publishing. Such assertions within the Panel’s report will now be perceived by many as final findings of a UN body, which will ultimately damage HSA’s ability to deliver vital foodstuff and humanitarian aid to communities in Yemen. The Panel must engage swiftly with HSA to address these risks.”

From humble beginnings in the small rural village of Qaradh, some 35 kilometers south of the city of Taiz, the founders of HSA Group became one of the most prominent and respected family businesses in the Arab region. Manufacturing is the cornerstone of the group’s activities whose various products include edible oils, dairy products, biscuits, confectionery, flour milling, sugar refining, carton, printing & packaging, and cement production etc.

Click here to read the Statement from Hayel Saeed Anam Group.

January 31st, 2021

Israel once helped the Houthis

The Houthis do not have a kind word for Israel. But not so long ago it was Israel that helped them.

Click here for the report from Politico.

Originally published April 21st, 2015

Sacrificing human rights to sell weapons

Western states are putting profits from weapons sales before considerations of respect for human rights and the humanitarian crisis caused by the six-year war in Yemen.

Click here for a report from Diplomatic Courier.

27th December 2020

Fifty-third anniversary of 1967 revolution:


Fifty three years ago 30th November was a glorious day. South Yemen was independent after 129 years of British colonialism. The Aden Colony and Protectorate were gone and a new state was created.

The early 70s were a time of great optimism and euphoria. The people were so enthusiastic about the revolution and the changes it made to Yemeni society that in 1971 workers came out in the streets demanding lower wages and chanting kafed alrawtib wagib (a reduction in our salaries is a revolutionary duty).

Click here to read the full article.

13th December 2020

Terrorist label for Houthis may be counterproductive

Despite their continued human rights violations, labelling the Houthis terrorists could prove counterproductive.

Just Security reports.

3rd December 2020

Talking to the Houthis or designating them a terrorist group

Trump is eager to designate the Houthis a terrorist group and Yemen’s internationally recognised government supports this move despite possible negative repercussions for the delivery of humanitarian aid. But talking to the Houthis is also an option. The European Council on Foreign Relations has published paper arguing that European states should now increase conditional engagement with the Houthis, looking to widen political and humanitarian space on the ground, while pushing all sides to the negotiating table.

Click here to read the paper.

November 2020

Spotlight on Socotra:

Described by an intrepid traveller as an idyllic island forgotten by man, blessed by the gods, Socotra has not managed to escape from the conflict which has ravaged Yemen for the past six years.

On June 20 this year the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized all government and military locations on the island, declared self administrative authority and appointed its own acting governor.

To read the paper, click here.

November 2020

Famine as a weapon of war

In Yemen the warring parties are cruely using famine as a weapon of war.

Click here to read Catherine Shakdam’s analysis of this phenomenon.

14th October 2020

Three missed opportunities to establish autonomy

Yemen today can be compared to a rudderless ship with several captains at odds with each other steering it onto the rocks where disintegration is inevitable.

The Houthis in the north are trying to motor full speed ahead with the establishment of a fundamentalist Shia theocracy supported by Iran. The internationally recognized government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, is rearranging chairs on a ship that’s going down...

To continue reading, click here.

October 2020

Houthi Ideology Under Microscope

The Yemeni Embassy in Washington has published a report on Houthi ideology and its consequences on Yemen by Salem Bahfir.

Click to read online or download this insightful and detailed study.

Read online    Download

September 2020

Asifah and Amajid Brigades

In its third issue South Yemen Update published a guide to South Yemen's political movements and parties.

For additional information about little known military brigades and armed groups in Yemen, please visit:

Little-Known Military Brigades and Armed Groups in Yemen: A Series | ACLED

September 2020

Independence in Southern Yemen: the view from the Southern Transitional Council.

Abdulsalem Mused, the Director of the Foreign Relations at the Washington Office of the STC, presents the case for southern statehood.

Independence in Southern Yemen: An STC Perspective

September 2020

Yemen’s wars and humanitarian crisis escalate

Devastating Consequences as U.N. Resolution to Oust Houthis is not Implemented

After the Houthis overthrew the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2014 Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015) was passed condemning their unilateral action and instructing them to immediately and unconditionally withdraw their forces from government institutions including those in Sanaa.

The resolution is a road map for the undoing of the Houthi coup. They are the only party in the multifarious Yemeni conflict which the resolution mentions by name.

Click here to read the full article.

September 2020

Is there a light of hope at the end of the dark Yemeni tunnel?

By Helen Lackner

Is there any cause for optimism about the plight of Yemen which is plagued by a civil war and a war within a war, a blockade, the decrease of essential humanitarian aid, famine, locusts, cholera, malaria, dengue and COIVD-19.

In an article for Arab Digest, Helen Lackner, who worked in Yemen since the 1970s, lived there for close to 15 years and is the author of Yemen in Crisis, the Road to War, a seminal study of the current war and what lies behind it asks whether amid the worsening humanitarian situation disaster is there a hint of political progress. She argues that war weariness and growing Saudi frustration may finally drive Yemen’s many warring factions onto a path towards peace.

Click here to read the full article.

September 2020

The impossible dream and Yemeni peace

By Adel Yahya, FOSY’s correspondent in Aden

There is no doubt that the whole world, the international community and the Security Council are in agreement with the Yemeni people in the north and south who support peace and bringing an end to the bloody war and fighting between the conflicting parties. Peace has become the dream of the Security Council and the international community and impossible to implement by the conflicting groups in Yemen.

Click here to read the full article.

28th August 2020

The Yemeni Government has no powerbase!

From our Special Correspondent Abdul Razak

Until the Southern Transitional Council (STC) rescinded its self rule declaration on July 29th, the negotiations about power sharing between the STC and the Yemeni government in Riyadh reached a stalemate for two main reasons.

Click here to read the full article.

19th August 2020

Why Yemen’s crisis has not been resolved

Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, who served as Yemen’s foreign minister from 2001-2014, analyses why Yemen’s why efforts to resolve Yemen’s political crisis and end the war have failed and explores how future efforts can avoid similar failures, which stem from misjudgments, poor management of the peace negotiations or interference by regional and international players with their own agendas and rivalries.

Click here to read the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies article.

17th August 2020

STC rescinds self rule declaration - What now?

In Yemeni politics there are more twists and turns than on the coils of a snake. In May 2017 when the Southern Transitional Council (STC) was established, its President Aidaroos Qassem Al-Zubaidi vowed to achieve one goal: an independent sovereign state in the South with Aden as its capital. The STC declared self-rule in April 2020 but rescinded this declaration on July 29th 2020 and pledged to implement a power-sharing deal with Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the President of the internationally recognized government.

Click here to read the full article.

12th August 2020

The future of South Yemen: more questions than answers

The declaration of self-rule by the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Aden and the areas in South Yemen under its control on 26th April 2020 raised more questions than answers about the future of the south.

The STC was established in May 2017 by the majority of the pro-independence Southern Movement (Al-Hirak Al-Janoubi) to restore the independence of the south. Its president is the former Governor of Aden, Aidarus Al-Zubaidi. When the council was first established, its prominent members were the governors of Dhale, Shabwah, Hadhramaut, Lahij, Socotra, and Al Mahrah.

The Saudi-led coalition, which is receiving military assistance from the USA, UK and France, is made up of the internationally recognized Yemeni government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and 15 countries including Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt.


5th July 2020

Why Al-Qaeda will never leave Yemen

For the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, cutting ties with AQAP is an almost impossible mission. The government takes advantage of the shared Sunni background with al-Qaeda to push them for the fight against the Iran-backed Shiite Houthis. This means that al-Qaeda is engaged in every step of the process of liberating Yemen from the Houthis. It makes talking about a future Yemen without terror groups impossible. AQAP is burrowing deeper into the country every day.

The Globe Post reports.

2nd August 2018