Today, thousands of Yemenis will descend on the port city of Aden to celebrate the 1963 revolts against British rule
Today, thousands of Yemenis will descend on the port city of Aden to celebrate the 1963 revolts against British rule and demand independence for the South.
Independence would further complicate the political situation in a country that has been mired in civil war since 2015. Championing secession is the Transitional Political Council. Formed after a split in Yemen’s Saudi-backed government earlier this year, the council is placing itself as an alternative governing body for an independent South Yemen.
Despite being rejected by the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Transitional Political Council has offered to work with Saudi Arabia and the international community. Its popular leader, Major General Aidarous al-Zubaidi, and its military support make it a considerable threat to the current government.
An independent South Yemen would likely seek peace with its northern neighbour. However, given the North’s backing from Iran and dominant presence of Shia militias, it is highly unlikely that Saudi Arabia will allow independence while the North still has fight in it. A Saudi-sponsored crackdown would be highly unpopular, so expect a successful rally today to force short-term engagement with the new council.
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