News Analysis: Riyadh deal unifies pro-Saudi Yemeni factions, could face obstacles in implementation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-07 23:03:11|Editor: yan
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ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The peace deal between the Yemeni government and Southern Transitional Council (STC) will unify their efforts to confront the Houthi rebels, but it could face obstacles in implementation, experts said.

The upcoming period will witness a new phase of military cooperation between the two sides, both supported by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, to continue the war against the Houthi rebels which still control the northern parts of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, the experts said.

Ali Bin Hadi, an Aden-based military expert, said that the international and Arab support played a significant role in the success of the reconciliation talks, which resulted in signing the power-sharing deal in the Saudi capital Riyadh by the two rivals.

"Signing of the Riyadh deal is considered as a historic event and an important base for building a strong front to combat the Houthi rebel militias in Yemen following years of setbacks," he said.

Hadi believed that the deal would establish a new government with a strong partnership and cooperation between the two sides and ensure stability in southern Yemen.

"The unification of the pro-Saudi military factions in southern Yemen will largely serve the anti-Houthi military campaign to liberate Sanaa and the other northern provinces," he said.

However, similar political deals reached by the Yemeni warring factions in the pace used to face obstacles and difficulties during implementation.

Despite direct supervision of the United Nations, the cease-fire deal that was signed last year between Yemen's government and the Houthi rebels in Stockholm faced numerous challenges during the implementation process.

The United Nations spent several months following the signing of Stockholm deal on discussing its implementation, but sporadic fighting continued to take place in Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah despite the presence of UN monitors.

Some Yemeni experts feared that the Saudi-brokered deal could face the same fate of the previous ones.

Nabil al-Bukiri, director of the Arab Forum for Studies and Development, told Xinhua that all the indications so far did not predict that the Saudi-brokered deal signed in Riyadh would succeed or achieve some progress in future.

Yaseen Tamimi, a Yemeni political writer and analyst, also said that the deal would have little impact on the course of settling the complicated Yemeni crisis, though Saudi Arabia appears to be treating it as one of its honorable exit points from Yemen's predicament and seeing it as the end of war.

The future of Yemen "can be turned during the post-deal period into a scene of more complication and bad developments with leaving the north to the heirs of the Zaydi Imamate in Sanaa to rule, while the south will be opened up to regional influence, fueled by regional agendas led by the Saudi agenda," Tamimi said.

In August, the Yemeni government forces and the STC forces, both financially backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, were engaged in ferocious fighting over control of the south. The STC forces later seized control of Aden, the temporary capital, from the government troops.

Saudi Arabia persuaded the two sides to hold reconciliation talks, which succeeded in reaching a deal to form a new technocrat cabinet of no more than 24 ministers.

The main points of the deal also included the return of the exiled government of President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to Aden within seven days, and the unification of all military units under the authority of the ministries of interior and defense.

The Saudi-brokered deal excluded the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who are still controlling Sanaa and other northern provinces of the war-torn Arab country.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern areas including the capital Sanaa.