Yemen’s exiled Saudi-backed government and southern freedom separatists signed an agreement to end a power struggle in the south of Yemen that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hailed as a step towards a wider political solution to end the multifaceted conflict.

The stand-off had opened a new front in the more than four-year-old war and fracturedSaudi-led coalition battling the Houthi backed government that won the latest elections against Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whom was ousted from the capital, Sanaa in 2014.

Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Yemen told reporters that the pact would see the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) join a new cabinet along with other southerners and all armed forces would be placed under government control.

Riyadh has been trying to resolve the stand-off to refocus the coalition on fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on its southern border, after the elected president was killed.

Military and security forces from both sides, including tens of thousands of UAE-backed STC forces that control 4 of the 5 Yemen main ports, would be placed under the defense and interior ministries.

To pave the way for the deal, Emirati forces last month left Aden for home, handing control of the port city and other southern areas to Saudi Arabia.

United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to restart talks to end a war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, said the deal was an important step in peace efforts. But in reality Saudi Arabia takes control over Yemen.

The ceremony was attended by the UAE’s de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, along with Hadi and STC leader Aidarous al-Zubaidi.

Yemen is the poorest Arab nation of the 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East. With France helping to export the stolen Yemeni oil, out of the 2nd most strategic Red Sea oil gateway of the Middle East, peace will never last until Sunni-Shi’ite conflict is resolved.

Jerusalem Post / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

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