Friends of South Yemen

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Ahmed Saeed Bin Brick praises FOSY’s road map

General Ahmed Saeed Bin Brick

In a message on Twitter the President of the National Assembly of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) General Ahmed Saeed Bin Brick praised FOSY’s road map.

Bin Brick said:

Brother Dr Abdul Galil Shaif
Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you

I would like to commend your efforts to support the Southern cause and the demands of our Southern people to gain their sovereign rights to disengage from the unity signed in 1990.

Here we welcome the initiative you launched: the road map to solve the Yemeni issue in ending the war and achieving the lofty goal of disengagement.

We also thank you for your efforts to remove the suffering of the people of the south and freedom from racist communal tyranny.

We send you our sincere greetings.

Your brother, General Corner / Ahmed Saeed Bin Brick
President of the National Assembly of the Southern Transitional Council.
Former Governor of Hadramaut Governorate.

International Zoom conferences discuss Yemen’s problems but offer few solutions

Friends of South Yemen recently attended three Zoom video conferences which discussed problems in Yemen. A summary of key points made by some of the speakers has been published in Issue 9 of our South Yemen Update newsletter and can also be read by clicking this link.

March 2021

STC President says co-existence with the Houthis is not possible

CNN interview with President Aidarus al-Zoubaidi

In an interview with CNN, the President of the Southern Transitional Council Aidarus al-Zoubaidi said co-existance with the Houthis is not possible.

Click here to watch President Aidarus al-Zoubaidi’s interview with CNN.

March 2021

STC president calls for independence referendum

The President of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) Aidarus al-Zoubaidi has called on a UN sponsored referendum on independence for the south.

Click here to read the Guardian’s interview with al-Zoubaidi and his comments on America’s role in resolving the conflict in Yemen.

1st March 2021

Biden ends support for Saudi-led offensive in Yemen

President Joe Biden formally ended American support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. He also put a halt to any sale of related US weaponry. Speaking at the State Department in his first major foreign policy address, Biden said he was making the change due to the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe that the Saudi offensive has greatly exacerbated.

Click here for a report from the Washington Examiner.

4th February 2021

STC supports normalization of relations with Israel

The President of the Southern Transitional Council says South Yemen would normalise relations with Israel if it was a sovereign state. His stance was severely criticised by the Internationally Recognised Government of Yemen and the Houthis who control the north of the country.

Read the report from Middle East Monitor.

4th February 2021

High ranking STC delegation visits Moscow

The STC has sent a high ranking delegation to Moscow led by President Aidaroos Qasim Al-Zubaidi. The STC is hoping for Moscow’s assistance in helping to secure the implemenation of the Riyadh Agreement.

Click here for the official statement about the visit.

3rd February 2021

Will Biden undo what Trump did?

What are the chances that Biden will reverse Trump’s decision to designate the Houthis a terrorist group? Will America’s policy in Yemen change?

Click here for a report from DW.

18th January 2021

No record of Britain’s lethal strikes in Yemen

Britain is tight-lipped about its lethal air strikes in Yemen which have been left off the official record.

The Guardian reports on pressure on ministers to explain the circumstances.

3rd January 2021

New Power Sharing Government Formed

The Internationally Recognised Government and the Southern Transitional Council have set up a new power sharing government.

Asharq Al-Awsat reports on the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.

20th December 2020

UAE-Saudi partnership in under cloud

In the Yemeni civil war Saudi Arabia is supporting the internationally recognised government while the UAE is supporting the Southern Transitional Council whose forces are fighting those of the IRG. Yet both Saudi and the UAE are part of the Arab coalition struggling to dislodge the Houthis from the north.

Click here for the report from Middle East Monitor which suggests the Saudi-UAE partnership is in jeopardy.

19th November 2020

Military reinforcements arrive in Abyan

Following the breakdown of talks about the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, Saudi Arabia sent armoured military vehicles to Abyan.

Click the links for reports on the latest developments from ABNA and Middle East Monitor.

November 2020

Problems with humanitarian aid to Yemen highlighted

In an Oral Statement to the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council prepared by Next Century Foundation highlighted problems in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

To read the statement click here.

3rd October 2020

More than 1,000 Yemeni prisoners freed

The first prisoner exchanges during the Yemeni conflict have started.

For details of the exchange and comments from the UN Special Envoy to Yemen click here.

27th September 2020

Situation in Yemen debated in Britain’s House of Commons

The situation in Yemen was debated in the House of Commons on September 24th after Tim Loughton, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Yemen, moved the motion “that this house has considered the situation in Yemen”.

During the debate British parliamentarians showed great concern about the continuing crisis which Loughton described as a lethal and complex cocktail but no new initiatives to help resolve the country’s intractable problems were put forward.

For a transcript of the debate click here.

25th September 2020

Human Rights Watch: All parties to the Yemen conflict have killed and injured civilians

In its World Report 2020: Rights Trends in Yemen, Human Rights Watch stated that armed conflict in Yemen has resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis in the world; parties to the conflict have killed and injured thousands of Yemeni civilians. According to the Yemen Data Project, more than 17,500 civilians were killed and injured since 2015, and a quarter of all civilians killed in air raids were women and children. More than 20 million people in Yemen are experiencing food insecurity; 10 million of them are at risk of famine.

Click here to read the report.

September 2020

Spectre of famine returns to Yemen

The UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock is dismayed that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have given nothing to this year's $3.4 billion appeal for Yemen where 9 million Yemenis have to cope with deepening cuts to aid programmes including food, water and health care.

For a report on the world's worst humanitarian crisis from AP click here.

16th September 2020

Will Israel help South Yemen become independent?

Israel has supported the independence of South Sudan and the Iraqi Kurds. Will it assist the South Yemenis to get an independent state? Inside Arabia looks at relations between Israel, the Southern Transitional Council and the UAE.

Click here to read the full article.

1st September 2020

Human Rights Watch Submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Yemen

A review of Yemen's periodic report for the 67th Pre-Session September 2020 has been prepared for the HRW Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Click here to read the report in full.

31st August 2020


STC suspends participation in consultations to implement
the Riyadh Agreement

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) has suspended its participation in consultations to implement the Riyadh Agreement. The agreement was first proposed in November to end the conflict in South Yemen between STC forces and the forces of the Saudi-backed internationally recognised government.

In a letter to Saudi Arabia, the sponsor of the Riyadh Agreement, the STC gave seven reasons for its withdrawal:

  1. The continuing and increasing military escalation by forces affiliated to the Yemeni government in the governorate of Abyan and their failure to comply with the agreed ceasefire. There are have been 350 documented ceasefire violations since the ceasefire declaration on 22nd June 2020 resulting in the death or injury of more than 75 STC soldiers.

  2. The continuation of the military build-up towards South Yemen with the significant participation of elements affiliated with Al-Qaida and ISIS who are embedded with Yemeni government forces in Abyan.

  3. Ignoring the plight of the families of martyrs and treatment of the wounded who have shed their blood for the cause of the South and the coalition fighting the Houthis.

  4. Delays of several months in paying pensions and salaries especially to the military and security forces, military and civilian retirees, civil servants and teachers.

  5. Forces affiliated with the Yemeni government continue to target civilians in Shabwa, Hadhramout and Al-Mahra governorates through systematic assassinations, repression, arrests, disappearances and torture in prisons.

  6. The collapse of public services in the southern governorates and the lack of any serious intention to find a solution to alleviate the suffering of the population.

  7. The continuing collapse of the currency, failure to provide cash in the southern governorates and inflation in the prices of goods and services which is having tragic consequences for the citizens.

FOSY is concerned that the negotiations have failed to make any progress and that war in Abyan between the STC and the internationally recognised government led by Abudrabbuh Mansur Hadi has intensified.

“We urge both sides to get back to the negotiating table so they can implement the Riyadh Agreement.” FOSY’s Chairman, Dr Abul Galil Shaif Kassim said.

“The failure of the warring parties in Riyadh to form the next government Yemeni actually means, in fact, the prolongation of the current political vacuum with a failed corrupt caretaker government that lives abroad and cares little less about its citizens. This failure leads to local and regional challenges, which open the door, in my estimation, to further aggravating the military, economic and social situation. Whatever our difference with the Riyadh Agreement, it remains the only game on the table in town,” Kasim added.

Famine and UN funding crisis devastate Yemen

Yemen is sliding toward famine as the coronavirus spreads and its economy implodes. To make matters worse a funding crisis at the UN has stopped treatment for 250,000 severely malnourished children.

Egypt Independent reports.

19th August 2020

UN stresses urgency of resolving Safer oil tanker threat

The United Nations stresses the urgency of resolving the ongoing threat posed by the Safer oil tanker, an aging floating storage and offloading vessel moored off Yemen’s west coast, 60 kilometres north of Hudaydah.

For the history of the ailing oil tanker and the UN's recommendations please visit:
Note to correspondents from the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Yemen: Safer oil tanker

14th August 2020

Egypt helps unify Yemen rivals behind Riyadh deal

Egypt has been working behind the scenes to end the dispute between the Saudi backed Yemeni government and the southerners. Al-Monitor reports.

Click here for the report.

5th August 2020

Will peace come to Yemen?

Writing for Project Syndicate, Thomas R. Pickering, Malcolm Rifkind, Norbert Röttgen, Yang Guang and Andrey Kortunov look at the prospects for peace in Yemen.

Click here to read Project Syndicate's article.

30th July 2020

The Riyadh Agreement:
The devil is in the detail

The STC has rescinded its delcaration of self rule and agreed to abide by the Riyadh Agreement. But the devil is in the detail. Will the agreement be implemented? As the Washington Institute points out, reactivating the 2019 accord is a promising step that could ease tensions in south Yemen and advance wider national negotiations, but only if coalition members are able to put its detailed requirements into effect.

Click here to read the analysis from The Washington Institute.

30th July 2020

Southern Transitional Council Rescinds Self Rule Declaration

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) has rescinded its self-rule declaration and pledged to implement a power-sharing deal with the president of the internationally-recognized government Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Commenting on the decision, Abdul Galil Shaif Kasim the Chairman of Friends of South Yemen said: “The STC used the self-rule proclamation as a tactical tool to put more pressure on Hadi’s government to share power with them more equally. Many southerners who believe in southern statehood are unhappy with this decision. But this is not the end of the negotiations but rather a stage in a long negotiating process.”

Click here for a report on the decision from Al-Jazeera.

29th July 2020

Large demonstration in Al‑Mahrah

A recent Facebook post shows a large rally held in Al-Mahrah governorate.

Demonstration in Al-Mahrah

Click here to see the post and comments on Facebook.

26th July 2020

Severe threat to Shibam's mud brick buildings

Recent torrential rains have partially damaged mud brick buildings located in the southern facade of the historic city of Shibam. Additionally, the heavy rains caused damage to the roofs of some buildings in the city, causing water leakage into the rooms. There is also concern for the foundations on the southern and northern sides of the town, home to about 7,000 people.

The National surveys the damage.

Click here to read the complete article.

27th July 2020

Why Have the Houthis Failed to Seize Yemen’s Marib Province?

The Houthis control around 70 percent of North Yemen but they have not managed to capture the strategic Marib Province.

This insightful analysis from Inside Arabia explains why.

21st July 2020

5k challenge for children in Yemen

The Winsford and Middlewich Guardian reports on a mum and daughter embarking on daily 5k challenge to help crisis torn children in Yemen.

Mum and daughter embark on daily 5k challenge to help crisis torn children in Yemen

Click here to view the full report.

25th July 2020

Hadhramaut rally supports STC

A short video has been posted by Facebook user Abdullah Saleh showing a rally in support of the STC in Hadhramaut on July 18th. The protesters carried the flags of the South Yemen republic and chanted slogans in support of the STC.

Rally in support of the STC in Hadhramaut on July 18th 2020

Click here to watch the video on Facebook.

18th July 2020