Shabwa ceasefire


Southern separatists in Yemen declared a ceasefire in clashes with government forces in the oil-producing province of Shabwa after two days of fighting.

“The Southern Transitional Council (STC) calls on all parties in Shabwa governorate to exercise restraint and abide by the ceasefire called by the Arab coalition,” the council said in a statement.

The council further called on its forces to remain in position and maintain control over institutions and property they took.

It warned against attacks on Saudi-led coalition forces.

The United Arab Emirates-backed separatists earlier this month took over the port city of Aden, interim seat of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and last week extended control to neighbouring Abyan.

Both sides are part of the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthi group that ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi government in Sanaa in 2014.

The STC, who seek self-rule in the south, turned on government after accusing a party allied to Hadi of being complicit in a Houthi attack on southern forces.

Saudi Arabia called for a summit to end the stand-off, complicating UN efforts to end the war in Yemen. Hadi’s government will not participate until separatists cede control of sites they seized.

The stand-off exposed differences between regional allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which in June scaled down its presence in Yemen while backing southern separatist fighters.