Saudi Arabia failed to stop the conflict between Yemeni government forces and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militia in the Abyan governorate, a day after announcing a committee to maintain peace in the governorate.
On Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition announced the start of deploying comprehensive ceasefire monitors in Abyan, between government forces and Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council militants.
The spokesman for the Southern Transitional Council, Muhammad Al-Naqib, shared in a Twitter post: “The forces of the council repelled today an attack by the government forces, which resulted in unprecedented losses.”
In addition, local residents in Zanzibar, the capital of Abyan, confirmed that they heard intermittently the sound of cannons and tanks from the Sheikh Salem area (12 kilometres east of Zanzibar), according to Anadolu Agency.
On Monday, the Arab coalition announced in a statement the response of the Yemeni government and of the Southern Transitional Council to call for a complete ceasefire and to hold a meeting (not yet scheduled) between the two sides in the kingdom: “To discuss the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement as a priority.”
On 5 November, 2019, the government and the Southern Transitional Council signed an agreement in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, but it failed to tackle the situation in the south, which the council calls for its split from the north of Yemen.
The governorate of Abyan has witnessed violent fighting since 12 May, after the attempts of the Yemeni army to reach the city of Zanzibar and return it to the Southern Transition Council.
The council announced “autonomous administration” in the southern Yemeni governorates on 2 April, but this was met with local, Arab and international rejection, and it exacerbated the tension between the council and the legitimate government.