Fighters from the separatist Southern Transitional Council stand next to a tank with the movement's flag after they took control of a pro-government checkpoint in Khormaksar, north of Aden, on January 30, 2018. AFP / SALEH AL-OBEIDI
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Saudi and Emirati envoys shuttled between Yemen's government and southern separatists in second city Aden Thursday in a bid to end a deadlock after deadly fighting between the former allies.Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates lead a regional military coalition that has backed President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi since he fled into exile in 2015 .Both sides in the new conflict are now claiming control over Aden, but military sources on the ground say the separatists, backed by UAE-trained army troops, presently hold the upper hand.A separatist official told AFP security in Aden was "stable," adding that his group's forces were working with the coalition.While the head of the Southern Transitional Council, an assembly of southern separatist leaders formed in May, Wednesday declined to say whether the council aimed for southern independence, the STC's mission statement openly calls for the reinstatement of autonomy.
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