Southern Transitional Council

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Southern Transitional Council
المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي
al-Majlis al-Intiqālī l-Janūbiyy'
شعار المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي باللون الذهبي.svg
Official seal
FormationAden Historic Declaration
  • Draft committee formed: 20 October 2016
  • Delegated: 4 May 2017
  • Inaugurated: 11 May 2017
FounderMajor General Aidarus al-Zoubaidi
TypeSecessionist organization Transitional government authority
PurposeRestoration of sovereignty of South Yemen
HeadquartersTawahi District. Aden, Yemen
OriginsThe Southern Movement
Historic south Arabia/South Yemen
Secretary General
Governor of Aden/ Ahmed Hamid Lamlas
Board Chairman, & President
Major General Aidarus al-Zoubaidi
Board Vice-Chairman, & Vice-president
Hani Ben Brik
Chairman of the National Assembly
General Ahmed Said Ben Brik
Main organ
Council’s Presidency Board

The Southern Transitional Council (STC; Arabic: المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي al-Majlis al-Intiqālī l-Janūbiyy) is a secessionist organization in South Yemen. The 26 members of the STC include the governors of five southern governorates and two government ministers. It was formed by a faction of the Southern Movement, also known as al-Hirak al-Janoubi. The Southern Movement was established in 2007, during the term of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and it has called for and worked toward the separation of southern Yemen from the rest of the nation (as it previously was until 1990).

Declared on 11 May 2017, the council is headed by the former Governor of Aden, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, as president, with former minister of state Hani Bin Breik as vice-president.[2] The formation of the council was authorized a week earlier by the Historic Aden Declaration, announced at a rally protesting the dismissal of al-Zoubaidi from his post as governor.[3] The STC claims to rule most of the territory in southern Yemen.[4][5][6][7]


On 27 April 2017, a presidential decree was given by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi dismissing Aidarus al-Zoubaidi from his post as governor of Aden, due to his close ties with the UAE whom President Hadi described as "acting like occupiers" in the city.[8] This was met with large demonstrations in the city in support of the deposed but popular Zoubaidi.[9]

With the help and support of the UAE, the STC was formed on 11 May 2017 with Aidarus al-Zoubaidi as its leader.[10] Immediately, President Hadi called the council illegitimate.[11][5][12][13]

Territorial situation in Yemen in November 2021.
  Controlled by Southern Transitional Council
  Controlled by Houthis-led Supreme Political Council
  Controlled by Al-Qaeda (AQAP) and ISIL-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia

Beginning on 28 January 2018, separatists loyal to the STC seized control of the Yemeni government headquarters in Aden in a coup d'état against the Hadi government.[14][15]

In January 2018, as the head of the STC, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi announced a state of emergency in Aden and that "the STC has begun the process of overthrowing Hadi’s rule over the South".[16]

On 27 August 2019, tensions continued to escalate in southern Yemen after the UAE-backed Security Belt Forces (SBF) lost territories to troops loyal to the Saudi-backed government of President Hadi. The troops advanced on the capital Aden and instead of engaging in street fighting, took positions outside of the city in order to prevent civilian casualties.

On 29 August 2019, to stop government forces from advancing and reclaiming the capital, the UAE carried out airstrikes on government positions outside of Aden, which killed and injured over 300 government soldiers.

Despite membership in the coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, the UAE fell out with Hadi's government after the former accused Hadi of aligning with the Islah party, a powerful party, which it viewed as ideologically close to the Muslim Brotherhood.[citation needed]

The STC declared self-governance on 26 April 2020.[17] The government said local and security authorities in the provinces of Hadramawt, Abyan, Shabwa, al-Mahra, and the island of Socotra dismissed the move as a "clear and definite coup".[18] In Aden, the movement's attempt was successful, as it occupied all governmental institutions.[19]

In order to deal with the infighting between the Yemeni government forces and those of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council, a new cabinet was formed with the backing of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.[20] The formation of the new unity government in December 2020, which includes equal numbers of representatives from each region of Yemen's northern and southern areas, was the result of over a year's worth of intense negotiations mediated by the Saudis, and was meant to end the infighting so that the two sides could fight together against the Houthi rebels in the ongoing civil war.[21][22]

Aden Historic Declaration
إعلان عدن التاريخي
Iʿlān ʿAdan at-Tārīḵiyy
Aden historic declaration.png
The text of the document in Arabic
PresentedMay 4, 2017
Date effectiveMay 4, 2017
LocationFreedom square, Khormaksar district. Aden
PurposeDelegating M. General Aidarus al-Zoubaidi to declare a national political leadership to administrate and represent the South

Aden Historic Declaration[edit]

The Aden Historic Declaration in (Arabic: إعلان عدن التاريخي, romanizedIʿlān ʿAdan at-Tārīḵiyy) is a speech delivered in Aden's famous Freedom Square (Arabic: ساحة الحرية, romanizedsahat alhuriya), formerly known as Exhibition Square in Khormaksar district on 4 May 2017 by Aidraus al-Zoubaidi, the former Governor of Aden.[23][24] The speech which was prepared by a committee headed by him contained a direct delegation for him to declare political national leadership under his presidency to administrate and represent the South and take all necessary measures to achieve the southern people's obviatives and aspirations fully empowered by the will of the people who gathered in a historic demonstration. The declaration reasserted the deep strong partnership between Southern people and Arab Coalition States led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in achieving and fulfilling the mutual goals of averting Iranian expansion, fighting terrorism, and guaranteeing the security and stability in the region, while maintaining the people ultimate goal to restore their sovereignty as a decisive element of region’s security.[25] This document which was named by its first article the Aden Historic declaration is considered along with the significantly large masses[26] who were present as a legal authorization from the people of the south to the later formed political body , the Southern transitional council, and for that, all announcements and orders issued by the STC begins with the statement "After reviewing the (Aden Historic Declaration) issued in the capital, Aden, on May 4, 2017".[27]

STC Backing[edit]

The UAE helped create the SBF in southern Yemen. Since its formation, the SBF has played a crucial role in the Saudi-led coalition before the recent escalation.

Its successes came in part due to being militarily backed by the UAE. The backing included training of SBF fighters in Abu Dhabi and the supply of military equipment. Emirati backing was crucial in helping the STC gain Aden, which has been under its control since 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forster, Robert (2017). "The Southern Transitional Council: Implications for Yemen's Peace Process". Middle East Policy. pp. 133–144. doi:10.1111/mepo.12295.
  2. ^ Forster, R (September 2017). "The Southern Transitional Council: Implications for Yemen's peace process" (PDF). Middle East Policy. 24.3 (3): 133–144. doi:10.1111/mepo.12295. hdl:20.500.11820/eb7d2018-0f05-478d-aa15-3b38cdd796fa.
  3. ^ "Aden Historic Declaration". Southern Hirak. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  4. ^ The New Arab. "GCC: Aden-based Southern Transitional Council 'doomed to fail'". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b The New Arab. "Banished Aden governor forms independent "South Yemen" council". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  6. ^ Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. "Thirty Southern Figures Reject Transitional Council in Aden – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Separatist group announces self-rule in southern Yemen". Al Jazeera. 26 April 2020. Archived from the original on 26 April 2020.
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Yemen president says UAE acting like occupiers". Middle East Eye. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017 – via
  9. ^ "Yemenis march against Hadi after sacking of Aden governor". Middle East Eye. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017 – via
  10. ^ Maher Farrukh (2 November 2017). "Threat Update: Yemen and Southern Secessionism". Critical Threats. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  11. ^ "GCC rejects formation of Yemen transitional council | Yemen News | Al Jazeera". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  12. ^ Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. "Hadi Rejects 'South Council,' Urges Members to Clarify their Stances". Asharq Al-Awsat English. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Yemen gov't rejects formation of "southern transitional council" – Xinhua |". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Separatist clashes flare in south Yemen". BBC News. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Yémen: les séparatistes sudistes, à la recherche de l'indépendance perdue". Le Point. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  16. ^ Jonkers, Brecht (29 January 2018). "South Yemen separatists send reinforcements to Aden". AMN (Al Masdar News). Archived from the original on 29 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Yemen separatists declare self-governance of south". Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Yemen provinces reject separatists' claim to self-rule". Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Crisis in Yemen as Aden separatists declare self-rule". The Guardian. 26 April 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  20. ^ "At least 22 killed, dozens wounded in Yemen airport attack". Al Jazeera.
  21. ^ "New Yemen gov't sworn in after Saudi-brokered power-sharing deal". Al Jazeera.
  22. ^ "Yemen's new government sworn in, ending months of wrangling". Arab News. 26 December 2020.
  23. ^ "PA-X: Yemen Timeline: Conflict Events & Peace and Transition Documents". Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  24. ^ "اليمن: إعلان عدن "التاريخي" وآراء المتظاهرين". 4 May 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Aden Historic Declaration". Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Thousands protest at Yemen president's sacking of southern leaders". Reuters. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  27. ^ "تعيين عمرو البيض عضوا في هيئة رئاسة الانتقالي". Retrieved 2 October 2020.