New Yemeni government to be formed in a matter of days, coalition says

Power-sharing government will be announced after troops are withdrawn under the Riyadh agreement

A fighter of the UAE-trained Security Belt Force, dominated by backers of the the Southern Transitional Council (STC) which seeks independence for south Yemen, mans the turret of a technical (pickup truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun) displaying the southern Yemeni separatist flag in Khor Maksar in the centre of Yemen's second city of Aden on August 12, 2019. The head of Yemen's separatist movement said he was ready to take part in Saudi-brokered peace talks after clashes with pro-government forces killed dozens in the port city. Southern Transitional Council (STC) leader Aidarus al-Zubaidi had said late on August 11 that he was committed to a ceasefire in Aden, where the separatists have seized the presidential palace and army camps. / AFP / Nabil HASAN
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The Arab Coalition announced on Thursday that President Abdurabu Mansur Hadi, the Southern Transitional Council and other Yemen political factions have come to a final agreement to form a new government composed of 24 ministers in the coming days.

"We have finished all the military plans and procedures to implement the military and security annex in the Al Riyadh agreement on the ground," a media source in the Arab Coalition in Aden told The National.

Under the Riyadh agreement, pro-government troops from the northern provinces of Marib and Jawf will return to their bases in the north and military forces loyal to the STC will be withdrawn from Aden until the government is formed.

“The new government will be announced as soon as the troop redeployment process is achieved within a week-long timeframe,” the source said.

Coalition forces will oversee the process of separating clashing government and pro-independence STC forces in Abyan province in southern Yemen and redeploy them on the frontlines in the battle against Houthi rebels. Coalition forces will also oversee the process of pulling the STC forces out of Aden city.

On Wednesday, Saudi troops arrived in Shouqra in Abyan province to oversee troop redeployment of both warring parties.

“Saudi officers accompanied by six military vehicles arrived in Shouqra city on Wednesday night to join the Saudi mission, which has been deployed in the city since June to oversee the ceasefire in the clashing area,” a military source said.

Following the Arab Coalition announcement on Thursday, the STC reaffirmed its support regarding the Riyadh agreement reached with the government.

"The STC was and will remain an efficient strategic partner for the Arab Coalition and the International Coalition, which has been leading the battle to counter terrorism and extremism at all levels," Nazar Haitham, the STC spokesman, told The National.

“Saudi Arabia has exerted tireless efforts to reach the final agreement to form the new joint government,” Mr Haitham said.

“We will concede for the sake of peace, and for the sake of preventing bloodshed and we will work collaboratively shoulder-to-shoulder to reconstruct our country and restore its sovereignty and protect its borders from all enemies,” he added.

The STC and Mr Hadi's government  are allies in the coalition-backed fight against the Houthi rebels, who have held the capital, Sanaa, and large areas of northern Yemen since late 2014.