The Riyadh Agreement and the scenario of limiting the influence of the STC

Saudi Arabia strengthens the sole authority of "Rashad Al-Alimi" militarily in the southern governorates

"Military sources in Shabwa told Alyoum8th newspaper that the administration supervising the Yemeni file, assigned a close associate of the Brotherhood and a former brigade commander in Taiz, to recruit thousands of young people from the oil province, within the strength of the formation of the Yemeni National Shield Forces, which are funded and armed by Saudi Arabia."

Chairman of the Yemeni Interim Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi – Archive


Alyoum8th newspaper learned from military sources in Shabwa governorate (488 km) east of Aden, the capital, about the recruitment of about one thousand five hundred young people, within a Saudi-backed military formation, called the "Yemeni National Shield Forces"; Three out of seven names."

Rashad Al-Alimi determined the size of the forces, their tasks and their theater of operations through an operational order issued by him personally, which many press reports said that Saudi Arabia sought from an early date to strengthen the influence of Rashad al-Alimi at the expense of "Aidarous al-Zubaidi, Faraj Salmeen al-Bahsani and Abdul Rahman al-Mahrami," all three representing the STC's supreme leadership.


Taiz brigade commander moves to Shabwa

A military source told Alyoum8th newspaper that the Saudi administration supervising the Yemeni file, assigned "Adnan Reziq", to supervise the recruitment of thousands of young people from Shabwa oil governorate, within the strength of the formation of the Yemeni National Shield Forces, militarily funded by Saudi Arabia, and Zureik is a cleric close to the Brotherhood and commander of the Fifth Brigade (Muslim Brotherhood in Taiz).

The sources confirmed that Rizeq moved from Taiz to Saada, claiming a dispute with the Muslim Brotherhood, before settling in Shabwa governorate, since the end of last October, Rizeq worked to recruit about 1,500 young people within the Yemeni National Shield Forces.

The recruits explained that they were recruited through the WhatsApp application, and that the recruitment also included former military personnel in other forces, where they rejoined these military formations.

A recruit told Alyoum8th newspaper that his name was registered by communicating with a person close to Adnan Reziq, who in turn sent him a form "to fill out and resend it again, via the WhatsApp application."

The recruit estimated the number of those who were registered within seven days at "about one thousand five hundred recruits, all of them from Shabwa oil province."

He pointed out that Adnan Reziq hinted that any soldier who defects from the Shabwa Defense Forces will be distributed to the previous brigades that were formed about ten months ago, without entering a training course, at a base for Saudi forces on the border - Saudi Arabia - Yemen.

The Riyadh Agreement and the scenario of scaling the Southern Transitional Council


Saudi politicians did not hide their country's intention to limit the influence of the Southern Transitional Council seeking to achieve independence for the former country.

On November 5, 2019, the "Riyadh Agreement" was signed in the Saudi capital, which is a reconciliation agreement between the government of stepping down President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his allies the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Southern Transitional Council, under the auspices, supervision and engineering of Saudi Arabia, but the agreement was not implemented except in Aden (the capital) only, while the other party disavowed any items, which prompted the Southern Transitional Council to launch a reconciliation initiative that southern military leaders loyal to the administration of stepping down President Abd Rabbu Mansour responded to. Hadi, and engaged in the fight against the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, which threatens Abyan province to control it and establish Islamic emirates similar to the emirates of 2011.

However, this reconciliation has increased the anger of the Yemeni parties and the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, which for the first time used drones to bomb military bases of the Shabwa Defense Forces.

Last June, Saudi Arabia launched "a regional component in Hadramowt, in the first public move against the Southern Transitional Council, followed by pushing Rashad Al-Alimi to the province under the pretext of establishing development projects. 

In April 2022, it was announced in Saudi Arabia that President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi was dismissed, and the Presidential Command Council headed by Rashad Al-Alimi, and the membership of the President of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, the Governor of Hadramowt Faraj bin Salmeen Al-Bahsani, the Commander of the Southern Giants Forces Abdul Rahman Al-Mahrami, the Director of Hadi's Office "Abdullah Al-Alimi", the Congress leader Othman Megally, the Governor of Marib Sultan Al-Aradah, and the Commander of the Republic Guards, Brigadier General Tariq Saleh. 

The agreement to transfer power from Hadi to the Presidential Leadership Council stipulated that decisions in the Council are taken in consultation between the President and members of the Council, but Rashad Al- Alimi, with clear regional support, took a number of decisions, without returning to the rest of the members, most of those decisions taken by Al-Alimi were "regional decisions", as he sought to empower military and civilian leaders belonging to Taiz, in senior leadership positions, which provoked the anger of southerners, wondering how the Southern Transitional Council accepted the "slogan of parity", in While even parity does not exist, North Yemen, including the city of Taiz, is "occupied by the Houthis," but Rashad Al- Alimi is dealing with a policy of strengthening his influence in the south by appointing his followers to sovereign positions.

Southerners say the current authority of the Presidential Leadership Council is reminiscent of Abdel Fattah Ismail, a northern Yemeni who escaped the imamate rule in North Yemen to the south, and worked in Aden refineries, before becoming president of the southern state, in a precedent that has not happened anywhere in the world.

On February 24, 2023, the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, Major General Rashad Al-Alimi, implicitly overthrew the most important outcomes of the Riyadh consultations sponsored by Saudi Arabia in April last year, which culminated in the resignation of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the formation of a presidential leadership council headed by the former Minister of Interior, who worked for years with Saudi Arabia in the security field.

Al-Alimi said in statements to Saudi media: Talking about the southern issue at this moment or discussing its solution at this time may be inappropriate, and addressing it will be within the framework of the political system, the content of the state, and the shape of the future political system, which represents a clear coup on the outputs of the Riyadh consultations, which stipulated its clause on the south, to develop a special framework for the issue of the people of the south in the negotiations of the comprehensive solution, but Al-Alimi considered that the solution to the southern issue will be within the framework of a central state and discussed It will be after the agreement with the Iranian proxies in Sanaa, claiming that the dialogue between Saudi Arabia, which leads the Arab coalition, and the Iranian proxies in Yemen will be a stabilizing factor for Yemen.

The Southern Transitional Council – the popularly delegated political authority in the south – announced its absolute rejection of statements made by the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, to the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, in which the latter showed his prejudice on the southern national issue, through which he put the results of the Riyadh consultations sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the test, as it described its statements as a full-fledged coup against what was agreed upon under the auspices of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council on April 7, 2022.

A large segment of southerners believe that April 7, 2022, was the beginning of the STC's curtailment and obstruction of its ambitions to restore its state or at least establish autonomy, lifting the suffering of the population in light of the continuous economic collapse and the Council's failure to re-export oil, after export ports were attacked by Iranian proxies in Sana'a.

On that date - April 7, 2022 AD - the final statement of the Yemeni-Yemeni consultations, in which the Houthis refused to participate despite their invitation from Saudi Arabia, was broadcast in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the final statement of the Riyadh consultations stressed the priority of a political solution and agreement to quickly complete the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, and approved the development of a framework for the issue of the people of the south in the peace negotiations sponsored by the United Nations, but Rashad Al-Alimi went alone in managing the liberated cities of the south, away from the authority of the Southern Transitional Council, which The southern street was disappointed, "especially since the leadership council and the government were formed from Yemeni figures belonging to a Yemeni province besieged by the Houthis, namely the city of Taiz, to which the head of the interim council, the prime minister and parliament and the governor of the Central Bank belong."

Political researcher Dr. Hussein Laqour bin Idan wonders about the reasons that push the parties to the signing of the Riyadh Agreement to disavow the announcement of the collapse of the agreement.

Bin Idan said in an exclusive interview with Alyoum8th, "The truth that the parties to the Riyadh Agreement evade announcing is that this agreement was dropped by the legitimacy, while the Southern Transitional Council was unable to adhere to it and stand firm to preserve it and implement its provisions after obtaining a few positions.

"There are many who believe that the Riyadh Agreement, instead of contributing to the stability of services and maintaining an economic level that preserves the citizens in the south a standard of living worthy of their dignity, has turned into a management of failure, chaos and the creation of artificial problems, while others see it as nothing more than a distribution of positions and gains for the leaders of the two parties, rather than a real treatment of the roots of the problems of administrative deficit and political corruption of legitimacy," he added.

Some even believe that it has given a number of leaders of both parties since its signing opportunities to confirm that their biggest concern is focused on power and the struggle for chairs, and they have been satisfied with this agreement."


The Future of Yemen's Interim Presidential Leadership Council


Since the beginning of this year, Rashad Al-Alimi has exercised absolute power that seems completely contrary to what was stipulated in the decision to transfer or share power between the Yemeni parties, so Rashad Al-Alimi has been moving according to a regional agenda, aimed at breaking the movements of the Southern Transitional Council, especially in the eastern governorates, which some regional powers see as areas of regional influence.

The most controversial question today seems to be the future of the Presidential Leadership Council in Yemen, especially after its failure to achieve any of the goals that brought it to address the problems and failures that accompanied the performance of President Hadi's administration.

He was counting on the council to move towards negotiations with the Houthis, to reach a political settlement that ends the conflict, paves the way for presidential and parliamentary elections, and rebuilding government institutions, but Riyadh, which sponsors the council, went alone to engage in a round of negotiations with the Houthis.

The interim presidential council has shown a clear inability to achieve consensus between the various Yemeni components and southerners, including the Houthi group, which the Rashad government sees as a Yemeni group with which it may reach advanced understandings that end the conflict and establish a better future for Yemenis.

The Council has not succeeded in achieving its goals until today, but it has become difficult for Rashad Al-Alimi to continue in power, by playing the role of managing the southern cities and leaving Yemen (north) to the Houthis, the alternative options, either entering into peace negotiations with the Houthis and accepting a national partnership, and this scenario will be difficult if not impossible, as the Iranian arms cannot accept partnership in a national unity government, as well as the southerners cannot make such a concession, as long as the partnership of the Leadership Council did not They achieve the slightest goals, so what would the situation be like if the Houthi militias accepted to be part of the authority

But the future of the Presidential Leadership Council remains dependent on the regional sponsors, "Saudi Arabia", and the move of the Southern Transitional Council, but it is most likely possible to predict the scenario of the failure of the Council in not achieving the goals for which it came, and this may pose a challenge leading towards collapse, especially in light of the regional polarization of the Brotherhood, whose interests have become intersecting with the Houthis, so change will be an option before the collapse, and any collapse means the return of Iran to extend its influence over the south, so the plan to reduce the Transitional Council It is not in Riyadh's interest to collapse or weaken the STC, but if the interim Yemeni Presidential Council continues with the same roles as the current administration, the collapse may be imminent and it may be difficult to develop any remedies to prevent the collapse from occurring.

The scenario of the continuation of the Presidential Leadership Council through Rashad Al-Alimi in a unilateral administration of power, without any real treatment of the economic situation, and the occurrence of a major famine, the main affected will be the Southern Transitional Council, which accepted partnership in an authority that did not achieve the most basic necessities of life for the people.

The scenario of the continuation of the Presidential Leadership Council through Rashad Al-Alimi in a unilateral administration of power, without any real treatment of the economic situation, and the occurrence of a major famine, the main affected will be the Southern Transitional Council, which accepted partnership in an authority that did not achieve the most basic necessities of life for the people.


The bottom line

It is not in Saudi Arabia's interest that Rashad Al-Alimi goes in a single authority, to try to limit the influence of the Southern Transitional Council, as Al-Alimi cannot continue to rule the south, in the presence of an escalating regional conflict, fueled by the decisions of the President of the Regional Council, especially in light of the confirmation of diplomatic sources about the intention of "Al-Alimi", to appoint the son of the late Yemeni politician Abdul Fattah Ismail Al-Jawfi "Amed", in a diplomatic position, especially since the history of the late Yemeni politician southerners say that it is full of tragic events, because it is closely associated with bloody political coups Most notably, the ouster of former southern president Salem Rabia Ali.

Saudi Arabia must deal with the Yemeni crisis according to the consequences caused by the summer war of 1994 on the south, without this means pushing the southerners towards more expensive options, and may mean the Southern Transitional Council acquiescing to popular pressure and taking steps, which may be a rebellion against the agreements sponsored by Riyadh without any real change on the ground.

The pressure exerted on the STC may contribute to a return to conflict and violence that could help terrorist groups recover their breath and strike against international and regional interests in international waters.

Local media, funded by Saudi Arabia, are trying to put the Southern Transitional Council in the face of popular criticism of the deteriorating living conditions, which means that there is a push to dismantle the Southern Transitional Council or at least weaken it, a strategy that may be costly for everyone, as it strengthens the authority of the Houthis in Yemen and gives the Brotherhood the ability to fuel violence and armed groups linked to al-Qaeda.

It is not logical for the Southern Transitional Council to accept a northern Yemeni leadership council and government in cities liberated by southerners, while North Yemen is still occupied by Iranian proxies, and it has become very difficult today to push the Houthis away from areas such as Taiz, Marib and Hodeida, and the continuation of this authority means targeting southerners and their right to restore their former state, and the regional actor may be the reason for any future challenges.


He claimed that the dialogue between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis serves the stability of Yemen. "Rashad Al-Alimi" overthrows the most important outputs of the Riyadh consultations. "Discussing the issue of the south after the comprehensive agreement with the Houthis" – Alyoum8th newspaper

Yemen... Establishment of military units under the name of the National Shield Forces – Saudi Arabia Al-Arabiya

Taiz Time | Sources reveal to "Taiz Time" the involvement of the leader Adnan Rezeeq in a conspiracy ... – Yemeni media

Yemen... Zubaidi re-constituting the STC Presidency - Sky News Arabia

Riyadh Agreement: Will Mohammed bin Salman Succeed in Ending the Crisis in Southern Yemen? – BBC

A terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda in Shabwa. 4 soldiers killed and 3 others injured – American news channel Al-Aan

Yemen: Hadramowt National Council declared political carrier - News of Saudi Arabia | Okaz Newspaper

What is behind Rashad Al-Alimi's visit to Hadramowt Governorate? - Balqees channel affiliated with the Yemeni Brotherhood

Report: "Al-Qaeda". Has it become a Qatari tool in confronting Saudi Arabia in Al-Mahra – Alyoum8th newspaper

The Southern Transitional Council is waving the dissolution of the partnership. "Rashad Al-Alimi". "Saudi ally" puts the results of "Riyadh consultations" to the test – Alyoum8th newspaper

"Threat to divide the South." Rashad Al-Alimi intends to visit Hadramowt A new Saudi escalation to confuse the "Southern Dialogue" – Alyoum8th newspaper

"Arrests return to Mukalla for the first time since 2015." Rashad Al-Alimi arrives in Mukalla for the first time. Saudi Arabia pushes for his exclusivity in the "Presidential Leadership Council" – Alyoum8th newspaper

"The mysteries of the Brotherhood and Houthi military movements towards the South". "Rashad Al-Alimi" rearranges the "Yemeni Brotherhood forces" in Marib and Hadramowt with a regional green light – Alyoum8th newspaper

After the dismissal of General Al-Ahmer. "Rashad Al-Alimi". Who is the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council in Yemen – Alyoum8th Newspaper