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The Southern Transitional Council (STC; Arabic: المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبيal-Majlis al-Intiqālī l-Janūbiyy) is a secessionist organization in 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).

Southern Transitional Council
المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي
Official southern transitional council logo.png
Logo of the STC
Established4 April 2017 (declared)[1]
11 May 2017 (formed)[2]
LeaderAidarus al-Zoubaidi
Main organCouncil
HeadquartersAden, Yemen

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.[3] 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.[4] The STC claims to rule most of the territory in southern Yemen.[5][6][7][better source needed] Some of the members of the STC were the governors of Dhale, Shabwah, Hadhramaut, Lahij, Socotra, and Al Mahrah governorates. It also has partial control of Abyan and Aden governorates.[citation needed]



The STC has been a key part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015.[8]

On April 27, 2017, the Governor of the Aden, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, was fired by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for disloyalty to him, and for loyalty to the Southern Movement. On May 4, major rallies were held in Aden to protest President Hadi's decision. The STC was formed on May 11, 2017.[2] One day later, Hadi called the council illegitimate.[9][6][10][11]

Territorial situation in Yemen in 2018.
  Controlled by Southern Transitional Council

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-led government.[12][13]

President of the STC Aidarus al-Zoubaidi announced the state of emergency in Aden and that "the STC has begun the process of overthrowing Hadi’s rule over the South".[14]

Mustafa Akhwand of Shia Rights Watch claimed that the battle was a dispute between Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the control of Yemen's newfound natural resources of oil, silver and gold discovered near the border with Oman.[15] He also said that Hadi should resign and allow a more moderate candidate willing to cooperate with Houthis to become president in order to rebuild the country.

The STC took control of Aden, southern Yemen's main city, following the Battle of Aden (2018).

The STC is supported by the United Arab Emirates.[16] According to Al-Jazeera, the "UAE has been financing and training armed groups in the south who answer to the STC's leader Zubaidi".[17]

By late 2018, the STC had consolidated itself in the South. Its representatives were openly calling for a referendum for Southern independence; outside experts considered it likely that the majority of southern Yemen's population was by then supporting the southern separatists and their aims.[18]

However, the military strength of the group is unclear. Although the STC holds shared interests and alliances with various armed groups, including the Southern Resistance (of which Zoubaidi is a commander), Adnan al-Kaf stated that multiple units including the Security Belts in Aden and Lahij, as well as Shabwani and Hadrami Elite Forces are not linked to the STC.[19] Further, in June 2018 commander of the Brigade of Giants, Abu Zahra al-Mahrami, issued a statement refuting links between his brigade and the STC.[20]

Government and Presidential commissionEdit

The Presidential commission consists of 26 members, who are listed below.[21][22]

  • Aidarus al-Zoubaidi – President of STC
  • Hani Bin Breik – Vice President of STC
  • Fadhl al-Ghadi – Governor of Dhale
  • Lutfi Bashareef – Minister of Communications
  • Murad al-Hallemy – Minister of Transportation
  • Hamid Lamlas – Governor of Shabwah
  • Nasser Al-Khobbaki – Governor of Lahij
  • Ahmed bin Breik – Former Governor of Hadramaut
  • Saleh Al-Awlaqi – Southern Parliamentarian
  • Abdulhadi Shayif – Economist
  • Abdullah Arefarar – Representative of Mahra and Socotra
  • Abdurrab Al-Naqeep – Representative of Yafea(West-southern Abyan)
  • Adnan Al-Kaaf – Deputy of Aden
  • Ahmed Al-Socotry -Governor of Socotra
  • Mona Basharaheed – Professor of literature
  • Aqel al-Attas – Activist
  • Lutfi Shatara -Journalist
  • Sahair Ali – Professor of Law
  • Ahmed Bamuallem -Brigadier General, representative from Hadramaut.
  • Abdurahman Shaikh- Deputy of Aden
  • Salem al-Awlaqi – Activist
  • Ameen Saleh – Activist
  • Nasser Assadi – Brigadier General, Activist
  • Ali Ashaibah – Brigadier General, Activist
  • Niran Suqi – Jurist
  • Ali Al-Kathiri – Representative from SLA party

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Aden's Historic Announcement". 4 April 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Maher Farrukh (2 November 2017). "Threat Update: Yemen and Southern Secessionism". Critical Threats. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Aden Historic Declaration". Southern Hirak. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. ^ The New Arab. "GCC: Aden-based Southern Transitional Council 'doomed to fail'". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  6. ^ a b The New Arab. "Banished Aden governor forms independent "South Yemen" council". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  7. ^ Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. "Thirty Southern Figures Reject Transitional Council in Aden – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  8. ^ "Saudi-led coalition moves against separatists in Yemen". Reuters. 2019-08-11. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  9. ^ "GCC rejects formation of Yemen transitional council | Yemen News | Al Jazeera". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  10. ^ Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. "Hadi Rejects 'South Council,' Urges Members to Clarify their Stances – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  11. ^ "Yemen gov't rejects formation of "southern transitional council" – Xinhua |". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  12. ^ "Separatist clashes flare in south Yemen". BBC News. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018 – via
  13. ^ "Yémen: les séparatistes sudistes, à la recherche de l'indépendance perdue". Le Point. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  14. ^ "South Yemen separatists send reinforcements to Aden". 2018-01-29. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  15. ^ "Activist: 'Hadi Has to Go, Someone More Moderate' Must Lead Yemen". Sputnik. 30 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Yemen's government 'prepares to flee' as UAE-backed separatists seize control in Aden". The Daily Telegraph. 30 January 2018.
  17. ^ "UAE-backed separatists launch 'coup' in southern Yemen". Al-Jazeera. 28 January 2018.
  18. ^ James Reinl (14 December 2018). "Yemen won't see peace without addressing southern demands: Separatist leader". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  19. ^ "المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي في اليمن يدعم قوات "حراس الجمهورية" بقيادة طارق صالح". Sputnik. 25 April 2018.
  20. ^ Forster, R (27 November 2018). "Yemen's Peace Process: Dilemmas facing the Southern Transitional Council". Oxford Research Group. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  21. ^ demolinari. "Both governors are members of the Southern Transitional Council which will have its first meeting in #Mukalla on Tuesday. #SouthYemen". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  22. ^ "#SouthYemen hashtag on Twitter". Retrieved 30 January 2018.