Saudi Arabia announces peace deal between Yemen and southern separatists
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) announced Tuesday that Yemen's official government and southern separatists have signed a power-sharing deal to stop fighting, reports Al Jazeera.
Why it matters: MBS says the "Riyadh Agreement" is an important part of the political solution to end the civil war in Yemen — which has raged on for four years and led to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, per Al Jazeera.
Context: The conflict involves two main factions that claim to constitute the official Yemeni government, and is widely see as a proxy war between regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran.
- The internationally recognized Yemeni government is led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and backed by Saudi Arabia. Southern separatists have fought alongside the formal government but are seeking a separate state.
- The Houthi rebels, who mainly come from the north, are backed by Iran and want to oust the formal government.
The big picture: The power-sharing deal calls for a new government to include the southern separatists and for Hadi to return to the temporary capital Aden, according to AP. The separatists' militias will also be disbanded.
- Troops from the United Arab Emirates have pulled out of Yemen in the days leading up to the signing, reports Reuters.
- Houthi rebels have increased the number of drone and missile attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, as fighting between the group and the Yemeni government has escalated, per the Financial Times.