This essay is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme (www.politicalsettlements.org) funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. The views expressed and information contained herein are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID, which can accept no responsibility for such views or information or for any reliance placed on them. The author would like to thank Christine Bell for her helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Thanks are also extended to Kevin Moore.
With the erosion of state power in the face of conflict, functional equivalents of government are often rapidly adopted, supported by systemic practices1 and an array of local and international actors.2 The consolidation of local governance is beneficial in the short term due to its capacity to provide security, governance and economic welfare in situations of grave need. Moreover, when local governance is based on traditional practices and representation is accepted as legitimate or at least "good enough," such organizations can form a consolidated bargaining bloc that strengthens local representation in national-level peace processes.
However, the appearance of local governance entities during times of conflict can also clash with technocratic approaches to peace processes led by national and international actors.3 As time progresses and local governance processes institutionalize, they may highlight issues of legitimacy that challenge state supremacy on the local and regional levels. In some cases, they can result in the creation of "quasi-states" that maintain aspects of governance such as the provision of security or revenue collection/generation independent of the internationally recognized state.4 However, political and economic development of such entities is typically hampered by a lack of formal state recognition, posing barriers to aid programs, trade and fiscal management. Even if a ceasefire is agreed, as highlighted by Pokalova, the lack of a political framework aiming to normalize relations with the state in question may "freeze" the conflict as available and satisfactory options decrease.5
These dilemmas are currently playing out in the case of the newly formed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen. This paper addresses the emergence of the STC and assesses how to understand its significance in the current attempt to end the conflict, with a view to exploring the role of subnational settlements within unresolved peace processes more generally. It is an open question whether the ways in which the developments in Yemen help or hinder attempts to reach a national political settlement capable of resolving the conflict across the country.
THE SOUTHERN TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL
On May 11, 2017, Aden's former governor, Aidrous al-Zubaydi, stood in front of the flag of former Southern Yemen and announced the creation of a 26-member Southern Transitional Council (STC).6 According to Southern Movement members, the announcement was the culmination of discussions that had been going on for several months.7 However, the process was catalyzed following armed clashes at Aden Airport in mid-April between the president of the UN-backed Yemeni government, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and then-governor Zubaydi.8 On April 27, 2017, Hadi responded by sacking Zubaydi as well as Hani Ali bin Brik, Yemen's former minister of state.9
Within a week after Zubaydi's dismissal, a mass rally in opposition to President Hadi's decision was organized by the Southern Movement, a coalition of political factions championing various degrees of political autonomy for Yemen's South and locally known as al-Hirak.10 Broadcasting the Historic Aden Declaration, the protesters proceeded to frame Zubaydi's removal from office as an act of aggression towards the South by Hadi, making reference to Hadi's role in defeating the South in the 1994 civil war.11 The location of the rally in Khor Maksar, Aden — the site of vicious fighting during the Battle of Aden in 2015 — further underscored the hardships of the Southern struggle. The declaration went on to "authorize" Zubaydi to create a "national political leadership" to represent the South based on the "legal authority from the will of the people of the South."12 During the week that followed, Zubaydi documented meetings with civil society, women's organizations, tribal leaders and Southern politicians before publicly announcing the formation of the STC.13
THE SOUTHERN QUESTION
This latest conflagration taps into a longer-standing question over the relationship of the South and East of Yemen to the rest of the country. The "Southern Question" has lingered in Yemen since before the Yemeni revolution of 2011. It was only in May 1990 that North and South Yemen unified as the leadership of both countries struggled financially and politically.14 The defeat of the South in the 1994 civil war led to the mass dismissal of Southern civil servants and military officials, confiscation of property, and the systematic transfer of wealth from the oil-rich southern province of Hadramawt to the North.15 In 2007, the Hirak was formed to protest these practices, for which they were met with a heavy-handed response by state security under President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In a process similar to the consolidation of the Houthi Movement — a Zaydi revivalist organization turned militant in the early 2000s — state repression cemented the Hirak's resolve and their calls for secession.
The Yemeni revolution in 2011 gave the Hirak, in addition to other nonstate groups such as the Houthi Movement, the opportunity to mobilize against the 33-year regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh under a broader umbrella of popular and elite discontent. Fearing a de-stabilized Yemen, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) led by Saudi Arabia, alongside the United Nations, negotiated the departure of President Saleh and his replacement by Vice President Hadi.16 This was successfully completed during the first phase of the transition. Meanwhile, the second stage sought to reform the factionalized military in parallel to launching a broadly inclusive National Dialogue to reform Yemen's constitution. Although a subsection of the National Dialogue Conference of 2013-14 was dedicated to solving the Southern issue in a transparent and inclusive manner,17 the process was marred by differences within the Hirak, assassinations and the biased selection of more moderate Hirak representatives by conference organizers, thus discrediting the process among many Southerners.
At the end of the conference, given the absence of agreement, the six-state federal system proposed and pushed through by President Hadi was rejected by the Hirak in addition to the Houthis. In response, the Houthis justified their southward expansion into the capital, Sanaa, on the basis of the unjust distribution of territory between the newly proposed states and a lack of consultation on the matter. While the Hadi government shifted Yemen's capital from Sanaa to Aden in September 2014, the political crisis deepened, eventually spurring the Houthi takeover of Aden in early 2015.
The capture of Aden echoed earlier Northern incursions. In reaction, the Southern Movement and their affiliated Southern Resistance militias played a key role alongside the Arab Coalition in driving the Houthis out of the Aden and Lahj governorates. With the Yemeni government predominantly based in Riyadh and the military divided, the Southern Resistance filled the security vacuum in Aden, taking over key responsibilities alongside the forces of the Arab Coalition. However, lack of payment by the Yemeni government sparked multiple protests by Southern Resistance members.18 Meanwhile, on the national level, a "silent power struggle" between Hadi and members of his government, including former Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, continued to destabilize the political and security environment in the areas recaptured from the Houthis.19
The creation of the Southern Transitional Council is more than a local response to the "Southern Question" and is reflective of three trends within the Yemeni conflict.
First, the STC is a product of the disconnect in goals between the Hadi government and local constituencies within Yemen. This disconnect is particularly evident in the government's call for Saudi intervention, which instituted a naval blockade at the expense of non-aligned Yemeni civilians.20 Moreover, the pro-Hadi coalition of political entities and militias was united not so much by a pro-Hadi stance as an anti-Houthi position.21 Thus, the alliances of the Hadi government, particularly with a militarily empowered Hirak, were likely to come into question. Moreover, the governing style of Hadi, who instigated multiple reshuffles of the Cabinet and other political appointments — four between December 2015 and June 201722 — has been disruptive to political processes and appears to be founded on political loyalty rather than professional capability.
The disconnect between the government-in-exile and local constituencies was further reinforced in the South after large areas ceased being on the front line. This ties into the second trend, a lack of progress in regard to the humanitarian situation as well as reconstruction, for which the Yemeni government is unable to secure sufficient funding.23 In addition, the national-level Yemeni peace process has remained deadlocked since August 2016. On the other hand, in the South there has been an attempt to consolidate political coalitions and goals since the expulsion of al-Qaeda from Mukalla in April 2016. Such a process is evident beyond the establishment of the STC, in the outcomes of the Inclusive Hadramawt Conference of April 23, 2017, which consolidated a political platform among several of Hadramawt's state, military and tribal leaders.24
The third trend embodied in the STC is the establishment of localized political entities that assume governance responsibilities. Throughout Yemen's state-building experience, the inability of the government to penetrate the periphery has led to the creation of rival governance organizations based on kinship or ideological affiliations including tribal councils, military-commander fiefdoms or pockets of al-Qaeda control. In this environment, the post-liberation period in Aden was marked by insecurity and an inability of the Hadi government and Arab Coalition to assert full control, due to challenges from rival groups including the Southern Resistance. Consolidation of Aden under Governor Zubaydi following his appointment in December 2015, with support from the UAE, placed ownership of the South back "into the hands of its sons."25 However, despite playing an essential role in Aden's liberation and affirming greater control over the region, these gains did not translate into a greater political voice on the national level. At the Kuwait round of peace negotiations held between May and August 2016, for example, Southern Movement leaders were largely absent,26 fueling further frustration.
The core of the above-mentioned tensions ultimately suggests questions of legitimacy, as Hadi's government is facing a challenge that most transitional governments meet. Indeed, the challenge of maintaining a semblance of legitimacy becomes increasingly difficult as they attempt to reconcile an appointed governmental body with democratic rhetoric and the promise of reform. Both the international community and the Yemeni government have attempted to short-cut this process by simply labeling Hadi's regime the "legitimate government" in official documentation and rhetoric. However, a lack of improvement in conditions on the ground and political maneuvering by government officials — in addition to their operating from Riyadh rather than Yemen — together act to erode goodwill among a struggling population.
THE POLITICS OF RECOGNITION
Among its tasks, the STC placed emphasis on ensuring "a continued alliance with the Arab Coalition against the Iranian intrusion into the area, and a partnership with the international community in the fight against terrorism."27 However, the initial response by international actors including Saudi Arabia, the GCC and the Arab League were overwhelmingly negative. Reactions have varied from being "disturbed" by the development,28 to warnings that the council will ultimately entrench divisions within Yemen and potentially prolong the war,29 or that the STC will weaken the Hadi alliance and thus give an upper hand to the forces of President Saleh and the Houthis.30
Nonetheless, within the first four weeks of its creation, members of the STC were busy building bridges internationally. Although Zubaydi and Bin Brik were apparently rebuked by Saudi officials after flying to Riyadh,31 STC member Lutfi Shatara reportedly met with Western officials.32 The rejection by Saudi Arabia seems to be an attempt to avoid legitimizing the STC. However, their simultaneous arrival in Riyadh with that of the UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has led to speculation of potential meetings between them.33
Domestically, the Council has also been met with diverse reactions. Within weeks of the STC's formation, Hadi dismissed the governors of Hadramawt, Shabwah and Socotra for their involvement with the Council.34 From a legal perspective, the announcement of the STC is perceived by some as a coup d'état against President Hadi in the South. As a result, it is no surprise that he rejected its formation. Hadi supported his stance by arguing that the Council contradicted "the three foundations agreed upon locally, regionally and internationally — the Gulf Initiative and its Executive Mechanism, the National Dialogue Conference's outcomes and the United Nations Resolution 2216."36 Indeed, the path dependency created by these documents and their legal underpinning under Chapter VII of the UN Charter have been an asset for the Hadi government in justifying its stance in stalled peace negotiations with the Houthis and former President Saleh.37
Opinions among other national and Northern actors has been mixed. In late July, Hadi's former prime minister, Khalid Bahah, allegedly assured the STC of his support.38 Meanwhile, a Houthi representative dubbed the STC a product of American foreign policy,39 while a pro-Hadi commentator accused the STC of Iranian support.40
Within the South, however, reactions have been predominantly positive. The former president of the South and leader of one of the largest Hirak factions, Ali Salem al-Beidh, considered the STC "a great historical achievement."41 The five provincial governors of al-Dhale, Shabwah, Lahj, Hadramawt and Socotra, who form part of the Council, were also positively inclined to its aims. However, immediately after the STC's formation, the governor of Hadramawt, Ahmed Said bin Brik, also stressed "the recognition of the role of the legitimacy of President Hadi as the consensus President."42
However, opposition to the STC emerged among other leading figures within the Southern Movement. Major General Nasser Ali al-Nuba, a Southern Movement founder, declared the Council "illegitimate" and organized protests against it in Shabwah's provincial capital, Attaq.43 A similar opinion was held by Hassan Baum, another Southern Movement founder and head of the faction known as the High Council of the Revolutionary Movement.44 In addition, some of the Hadramawt tribes issued a statement reiterating their support for President Hadi.45 Thus, the STC's aims of representing a "united South" are not unchallenged.
The creation of the STC exposes the weaknesses of internationally led technocratic peace processes that contrast sharply with the political and everyday aspect of conflict resolution. While the national peace process is pursued by an elusive national elite alongside geopolitical allies with regard to stopping the violence, developments in the South have a more bottom-up relationship to people affected by conflict. Yet, the emergence of subnational settlements places peacemakers in a difficult position. Developments on the ground outpace the trajectory of incremental peace processes and go beyond the scripted nature of political roadmaps.
In the case of Yemen, regional approaches to the Council are ultimately framed by two aspects. First, there are internal tensions between the Arab Coalition members of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which view the fate of the STC through respective spheres of influence. Second, the legal justification of the Arab Coalition intervention rests with the continuation of Hadi as Yemen's president. Nonetheless, the question that arises is whether the emergence of a strong regional entity with a clear position in the South will help or hurt Yemen's peace negotiations.
From a positive perspective, the STC could represent an opportunity for Southern Yemenis and members of the international community. The fractured nature of the South has posed considerable difficulties in consolidating the aims of Southerners since the Hirak first emerged, resulting in competing voices and in-fighting that have made it easier to exclude the movement from negotiations. For peace processes, such heterogeneity in demands is difficult to overcome; certain sticking points stall negotiations. Reminiscent of the two platforms that emerged to represent the positions of Tuareg rebels in the Mali intra-Azawad peace process after 2012,46 the STC could form the basis of a more coherent coalition than what currently exists in Yemen (although to the detriment of plurality).
In addition, in states where the old political settlement has ruptured and the new one has yet to fully manifest itself, local governance entities are instrumental in forming "islands of peace" through the resolution of localized disputes.47 The theory is that creating peaceful regions within countries can be a way of stabilizing what can be stabilized, and thus creating a vision and a will for greater peace. Legitimate governance by the STC with assistance from the UAE could also be a means of consolidating governance in the South. Tackling issues of security, for example, could be accomplished via a more astute recognition of the needs that must be addressed, proposing local solutions to issues of disarmament and security reform, as well as a more in-depth knowledge of context and place when tackling the al-Qaeda insurgency.
On the other hand, consolidation of local governance can also be viewed as operating to "spoil" peace processes, for five reasons. First, local governance institutions pose a challenge to technocratic means of conflict resolution, which often have entrenched path dependencies that are difficult to break. Such institutions diverge from these processes, as they were not party to previous rounds of negotiation and hence not factored into any proposed roadmap. Second, local governance institutions challenge the legitimacy of internationally backed governments. Thus, as with armed groups, if governments accede to the demands of such local institutions, it may encourage their emergence elsewhere. Third, as indicated by Pokalova, when organizations institutionalize, over time there become fewer available options for their peaceful inclusion in the process. As a result, the conflict "freezes."48 In this context, institutionalized local governments are often viewed as waystations to secession, although this is not necessarily the case. Fourth, the formation of local governance entities may agitate regional divisions by provoking a backlash from opposing local actors and exacerbate conflict. Lastly, conflict may also be exacerbated should a local governance organization fail after a period of consolidation, due to either internal or external pressures.
To illustrate these points, the case of Somalia offers two converse examples of how local governance structures have interacted with the "mother" state. Somaliland is an example of a frozen conflict, where local structures have solidified into a quasi-state that seems unlikely to join the rest of Somalia after over 25 years of de facto independence. However, it is also unlikely that statehood will be internationally recognized. In contrast, similar processes of local settlement in Puntland — due to its geographic location and historical ties with Mogadishu, in addition to an influx of national and international rents to combat crime and piracy — offer an example of how a substate political settlement can support the development of a greater federal entity.
With regard to Yemen, the approach taken by the GCC member states and President Hadi to the STC is that it is antithetical to the UN-led peace process. However, the outright rejection of the STC by the majority of regional actors threatens to make their predictions of "entrenched divisions" a self-fulfilling prophecy, particularly if reports of countermaneuvering by President Hadi and Saudi Arabia to form an opposing council of Southern activists to challenge the STC are correct.49 Moreover, hostility towards Saudi Arabia by the Houthis highlights the difficulty of sharing a long and porous border. In addition, considering the terms under which the 2000 border treaty between Riyadh and President Saleh was signed,50 it may not be in the best interest of Riyadh to reject Southern interests outright.
What might be the outcomes of this development? Beyond "managing and representing the South, domestically and internationally,"51 the short-term aims of the STC remain unclear. By decree, the Council may extend its authority as it deems necessary, although as of its meeting in Aden on July 5, it had yet to do so.52 If the STC manages to maintain its position, various possible scenarios exist. However, a key factor in any of them is the level of Emirati support, particularly if the STC is designated a spoiler, whereby the UAE could form a "lifeline" for the flow of goods and people into Southern Yemen.
The first potential scenario is for the STC to declare independence. However, the norm of protecting state integrity means that this option will not be supported internationally, and this makes it unattractive. Moreover, as the majority of Yemen's hydrocarbon resources are located in Hadramawt, attempted secession may stoke further conflict with the North. If independence does occur, it is likely to either be fleeting, or the foundation of a de facto quasi-state unrecognized by the international community — but for all intents and purposes an independent territorial entity. Although a long-term goal, secession is more likely to be attainable by the South if undertaken transparently and in partnership with neighboring states and the international community and with deference to the Yemeni government in exile, such as through a negotiated independence referendum.
The second scenario is for the STC to be rolled into a national solution based on federalism, if the federal framework were rewritten from Hadi's six states into two. In such a scenario, the STC could become the first foundation of a regional government in the South, with a northern counterpart possibly found in the High Political Council that was announced by the Houthis and General People's Congress in July 2016.53 In such a case, the STC could be an emerging federal entity representing a united South in any future peace negotiations, as hoped for by Bashraheel Hisham Bashraheel, deputy editor of the Aden-based al-Ayyam newspaper.54 To some extent, the second scenario mirrors the Somali model of incremental federalism by incorporating bottom-up regional entities into a federal structure wherein a coherent and fairly legitimate leadership can be formed — although this is not without its problems.
A version of this second scenario appears to be the aim of the former governor of Hadramawt, Ahmed bin Brik,55 who was careful to voice the legitimacy of Hadi while supporting the Council.56 In an interview with Aden al-Ghad on June 18, 2017, Bin Brik spoke of the potential for declaring a new state "between September and October ."57 This independent state would allegedly be in confederation with the rest of Yemen, but would incorporate a decentralized model with a view to providing a level of self-governance to individual provinces within it. 58 Such a model appears to have Hadramis in mind.59 As reported by al-Arabi al-Jadeed, support from Hadramawt is essential for the Southern project to work. However, the situation remains precarious; including Hadramawt within an independent Southern state would eliminate the opportunity for greater Hadrami autonomy within a "united Yemen," which could be equally or even more beneficial.60
The third scenario, which seems unlikely in the short term considering current Emirati support — but nonetheless possible — is the disintegration of the Council in the face of domestic and external pressure. As seen, the South is not entirely united under the banner of the STC, and this could lead to a political crisis or even the outbreak of conflict between opposing factions. Moreover, many observers agree that the fate of the Council will depend on the level of support from the Arab Coalition and what is agreed upon between the Emirati and Saudi governments.61 As stated by Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher, the Arab Coalition "could control some of the crisis in Aden"62 despite the initial momentum of STC activity. The rumored house arrest of the governors of Hadramawt, Shabwah and Socotra in late June appears to be such an attempt at this.63
Another detriment to the longevity of the Council, however, would be how it tackles the same challenges that face the Hadi government, namely, the provision of services and security, as well as improving the standard of living and maintaining control of its forces. If these aspects are not accomplished, any political gains will be fragile at best. In addition, decades of weak governance in the South mean that the STC will likely face challenges by local political entities. The use of the "terrorism" label is already prominent in the rhetoric of the Council, the defeat of which is listed as one of its overall goals.64 The means by which the STC deals with political contenders — particularly in light of possible rights violations in conjunction with Emirati support65 — will be a valuable indicator of either authoritarian entrenchment or democratic reform.
A political constellation akin to Libya, with opposing regionalized governments and an internationally backed government, appears to be emerging in Yemen. Such a political constellation poses considerable difficulties in maintaining the current peace process laid out in UNSC Resolution 2216. However, given that this process has been floundering, the STC can also be viewed as an opportunity to approach the South as a consolidated political bloc. For southerners, it will grant them the opportunity to effectively lobby for their cause at the negotiation table. Moreover, the STC offers an opportunity to consolidate peace in the South and tackle wide-ranging issues — humanitarian aid, security and the al-Qaeda insurgency — from a more localized perspective. In the longer-term, the STC may even form a preliminary governmental body absorbed into a decentralized Yemen.
However, the STC also forms a substate challenge to the legitimacy of President Hadi. Rather than approaching the Council and negotiating with it, the Yemeni government with Saudi backing has, it appears, opted to maneuver against it. This is being accomplished through potential plans to create a rival council loyal to Hadi, in addition to limiting the access and movement of some STC members who have been stripped of their administrative positions. Moreover, intra-Southern rivalries can be stoked to limit the ability of the Council to operate. For Hadi, this approach may succeed in dismantling the Council in the short term. However, it is also likely to fuel resentment among those Southerners who view the body as legitimate, exacerbating North-South relations and possibly prolonging the conflict.
In attempting to end the Yemeni conflict, international policy makers are confronted with a difficult decision, although their options are limited by the near unanimous international support for President Hadi, the GCC Initiative, the National Dialogue Outcomes and Resolution 2216. Nonetheless, their approach to the STC can have broad implications for continued stability in the South and curbing the spread of conflict through intra-regime factionalization, forming an "island of peace" in an otherwise conflict-torn state. However, it should be noted that, as with all regimes that arise in conflict, it remains uncertain whether the STC will form a pathway to a more inclusive political settlement, or simply be a tool to consolidate power among Southern elites.
More broadly, the Yemen case illustrates a conflict dynamic with global relevance, namely the tension between locally and internationally driven peace processes and the questions of legitimacy that arise. In addition, the Yemen case shows how local/regional consolidation of governance can create so-called islands of peace, possibly increasing access to public goods in parts of the state. In addition, such consolidation has some potential for enabling negotiation between national and subnational entities by offering a clearer opposition platform. The opportunities, however, are matched by the threat that such governance entities pose to governments of countries in conflict, particularly when they align with secessionist claims.
International actors would do well to harness the opportunities presented by such entities, while also managing the mismatch between national-level peace processes that they have committed to. When the situation is fluid and processes have stalled, it is shrewd to adopt an open-minded approach and maintain open dialogue with all actors, particularly those with commitments to alleviate humanitarian needs on the ground.
1 See Tanja Börzel, "Governance with/out Government: False Promises or Flawed Premises?" SFB Working Paper Series 23 (March 2010); and Tanja Börzel and Thomas Risse, "Governance without a State: Can It Work?," Regulations and Governance 4 (2010): 113-34.
2 See, for example, Jana Hönke, Transnational Companies and Security Governance: Securing Business Spaces (London: Routledge, 2013); and Stig Jarle Hansen, "Private Security & Local Politics in Somalia," Review of African Political Economy 35, no. 118 (2008): 585-98.
3 For a critique on technocratic approaches to peacebuilding, see Jasmine-Kim Westerndorf, Why Peace Processes Fail: Negotiating Insecurity after Civil War (Lynne Rienner, 2015).
4 Pål Kolstø, "The Sustainability and Future of Unrecognized Quasi-States," Journal of Peace Research 43 (2006): 723-40.
5 Elena Pokalova, "Conflict Resolution in Frozen Conflicts: Timing in Nagorno-Karabakh," Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 17, no. 1 (2015): 68-85.
6 Aidrous al-Zubaydi, "Announcement of the Creation of the Southern Transitional Council," al-Ghad al-Mashruq Channel, May 11, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/439893976205890/videos/619599198235366/.
7 "Southern Commander: The Transitional Council Targets the Legitimacy of the War in Yemen," Sputnik, May 21, 2017, https://goo.gl/TbynqA; and Sputnik, "Talk about the Southern Transitional Council 'a Lie'," 7adramawt.net, May 19, 2017, https://goo.gl/ZVTLDp.
8 David Hearst, "Yemen President Says UAE Acting like Occupiers," Middle East Eye, May 3, 2017, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-yemeni-president-says-emira….
9 Naseh Shaker, "Fierce Clashes around Aden Airport Kill Two," al-Masdar News, June 1, 2017, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/fierce-clashes-around-aden-airport….
10 Paola Tamma, "Pro-secession South-Yemenis Rally in Support of Sacked Aden Governor," The New Arab, May 5, 2017, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/5/5/pro-secession-south-yem….
11 "Historic Aden Declaration," al-Hirak, May 4, 2017, http://www.southernhirak.org/2017/06/aden-historic-declaration.html.
13 Maj. Gen. Aidrous Qassim al-Zubaydi, "Facebook Profile," accessed June, 20, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/brigadiergeneraaidroosalzubaidi/photos/a.16383….
14 Sheila Carapico, Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 50.
15 Stephen W. Day, Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen (Cambridge University Press: 2012), 154-61.
16 "Agreement on the Implementation Mechanism for the Transition Process in Yemen in Accordance with the Initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council," Peace Agreement Access Tool, 2015, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.peaceagreements.org/wview/758/Agreement+on+the+Implementatio….
17 "National Dialogue Conference Outcomes Document," Peace Agreement Access Tool, 2015, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.peaceagreements.org/wview/1400/National+Dialogue+Conference+….
18 Nasser al-Sakkaf, "After Victory over Houthis, Divisions Emerge in Aden's Resistance," Middle East Eye, September 18, 2015, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/after-victory-over-houthis-divisions-….
19 Gamal Gassim, "Analysis: Beyond the Fragile Peace in Aden," Al Jazeera, December 9, 2015, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/analysis-fragile-peace-aden-15120….
20 Elem Khairullin, "Yemen, Naval Blockade," International Committee of the Red Cross Casebook (2016), https://casebook.icrc.org/case-study/yemen-naval-blockade-0; United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, "Lift Blockade of Yemen to Stop "Catastrophy" of Millions Facing Starvation Says UN Expert," April 12, 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21496&….
21 Peter Salisbury, "How Yemen's United Nations Mediation Could Avoid Failing Again (But Probably Won't)," Washington Post, October 26, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/10/26/how-yemen….
22 Sami Aboudi and Mohammed Ghobari, "Yemen PM Rejects Cabinet Reshuffle Ordered by President: Government Source," Reuters, December 2, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-government-idUSKBN0TK4…; Mohammed Al Qalisi, "Yemen President Hadi Reshuffles Cabinet," The National, April 4, 2016, accessed through Archive.org Way-Back Machine on June 20, 2017, http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/yemen-president-hadi-reshuf…; "Yemen's Hadi Orders Government Reshuffle, Central Bank Relocation," San Diego Union Tribune, September 16, 2016, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/hoy-san-diego/sdhoy-yemens-hadi-ord…; and "Yemen Government Reshuffles Reinforces Saudi Influence," Middle East Monitor, May 20, 2017, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170520-yemen-government-reshuffle-r….
23 "High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), April 25, 2017, https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Yemen/Yemen%20pledges.pdf.
24 "Complete Text: Statement from the All Inclusive Hadramawt Conference," Yemani, April 22, 2017, https://www.yemani.net/news11127.html.
25 William Maclean, Noah Browning and Yara Bayoumy, "Yemen Counter-Terrorism Mission Shows UAE Military Ambition," Reuters, June 28, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-emirates-idUSKCN0ZE1EA.
26 Annie Slemrod, "Who and What Is Missing from the Yemen Peace Process?" Irin News, August 4, 2016, https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/08/04/who-and-what-missing-yemen….
27 Article 3, "Declaration of the Formation of the Southern Transitional Council," Yemen Akhbar, May 13, 2017, http://www.yemenakhbar.com/yemen-news/864362.html.
28 "GCC: Aden-based Southern Transitional Council 'Doomed to Fail'," al-Araby, May 16, 2017, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/5/16/gcc-aden-based-souther….
30 "The Southern Transitional Council Attacks bin Dagher," Al Jazeera, July 5, 2017, https://goo.gl/1dn1T8.
31 "Saudi Continues to Refuse to Meet UAE-Backed Yemen 'Transitional Council," Middle East Monitor, May 18, 2017, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170518-saudi-continues-to-refuse-to….
32 Hashem al-Musawwi, "Yemen… News of Arab and International Support for the Southern Transitional Council," RT, June 12, 2017, https://goo.gl/MZFBY8.
33 "The Fate of the 'Southern Transitional Council' between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi," al-Arabi al-Jadeed, May 16, 2017, https://goo.gl/XUXEBJ.
34 Aden News Service, "Southern Transitional Council Rejects the Decrees of President Hadi," Quds Press International News Agency, June 30, 2017, http://qudspress.com/index.php?page=show&id=33408.
35 "The Fate of the 'Southern Transitional Council,'" al-Arabi al-Jadeed.
36 "Yemen's Presidency Reject So-Called Southern Council," Saba News [Yemeni Government Owned], May 12, 2015, http://www.sabanew.net/viewstory.php?id=17139.
37 Robert Forster. "Towards a Comprehensive Settlement? Yemen's Two Year Peace Process", Middle East Journal 71, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 479-488
38 "Khalid Bahah Announces His Support for the Southern Transitional Council and Confirms That It Is the Legitimate Representative of the South," Yemen 24, July 5, 2017, http://www.yemen-24.com/news48364.html.
39 "The South Will Go Where?," Khabar al-Yemeni, May 11, 2017, http://www.alkhabaralyemeni.net/2017/05/11/2497/.
41 "Responses to the announcement of the Southern Transitional Council," Mashhad al-Yemeni, May 17, 2017, http://almashhad-alyemeni.com/news101112.html.
43 Ibid.; and "Opponents and Supporters of the Southern Transitional Council Are Protesting in Shabwah," Al Jazeera, April 17, 2017, https://goo.gl/xYm5PW.
44 "The Supreme Council of the Revolution Movement Deny the Statements Attributed to Them," Dunya al-Watan, April 11, 2017, https://www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/news/2017/05/11/1048308.html.
45 "Opponents and Supporters of the Southern Transitional Council are protesting in Shabwah."
46 Gaudence Nyirabikali, "The Mali Peace Process and the 2015 Peace Agreement," in SIPRI Yearbook 2016 (SIPRI and Oxford University Press, 2016): 177-88
47 Volker Boege, "Potential and Limits of Traditional Approaches to Peacebuilding," in Advancing Conflict Transformation: The Berghof Handbook II, eds. B. Austin, M. Fischer and H.J. Giessmann (Barbara Budrich Publishers, 2011): 444.
48 Pokalova, "Conflict Resolution in Frozen Conflicts."
49 Abdelgani al-Ghanmi, "Strong Saudi-Yemeni Maneuvering in Riyadh to Counter the Southern Transitional Council," Bawabatii, July 5, 2017, https://www.bawabatii.com/news137129.html.
50 Jomana Farhat, "Saudi-Yemeni Border: A Line in the Sand," al-Akhbar English, June 15, 2015, http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/8500.
51 Article 2.2, "Declaration of the Formation of the Southern Transitional Council."
52 "Start of the first meeting of the Transitional Council in Aden," Sputnik, July 5, 2017, https://goo.gl/z128n4.
53 "Agreement between General People's Congress and Ansar Allah on formation of High Political Council in Sanaa," Khabar Agency, July 28, 2016, http://khabaragency.net/news66975.html.
54 "GCC Rejects Formation of the Yemen Transitional Council," Al Jazeera, May 13, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/gcc-rejects-formation-yemen-trans….
55 "The Fate of the 'Southern Transitional Council,'" al-Arabi al-Jadeed.
56 Mashhad al-Yemani, "Responses to the announcement of the Southern Transitional Council."
57 "Southern Transitional Council Reveals Form of the New State in Yemen," Aden al-Ghad, June 18, 2017, http://adengd.net/news/263939/.
59 "A Month of the Southern Transitional Council in Yemen: Sponsorship from Abu Dhabi Not Enough to Complete the Coup," al-Arabi al-Jadeed, June 13, 2017, https://goo.gl/SDnu9f.
61 "The Fate of the 'Southern Transitional Council,'" al-Arabi al-Jadeed.
63 "Riyadh Places bin Brik, Lamlis and al-Suqutri under House Arrest and Takes Their Passports," Masaadir, July 1, 2017, https://goo.gl/kRiUbz; "Bin Brik Denies Being Placed under House Arrest in Saudi Arabia," al-Wahdah, July 3, 2017, https://goo.gl/2N9dqo.
64 Article 3, "Declaration of the Formation of the Southern Transitional Council."
65 Maggie Michael, "In Yemen's Secret Prisons, UAE Tortures and U.S. Interrogates," Associated Press, June 22, 2017, https://apnews.com/4925f7f0fa654853bd6f2f57174179fe/US-interrogates-det….