Fighters from the separatist Southern Transitional Council stand at the entrance of a military camp after they took control of the pro-government position in the Dar Saad district, in the north of Aden, on January 31, 2018. AFP / SALEH AL-OBEIDI
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Despite analysts ruling out an imminent partition of Yemen, separatists have re-emerged as a political force in the south – one that is a direct challenge to the internationally recognized government. Recent bloody clashes between President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi's government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council, both backed by an Arab-led coalition, have not only weakened the alliance fighting the Houthi rebels but have also brought Yemen's two-state past to the foreground.In response, Zubaidi created the STC in May 2017, a 25-seat body with a stated objective of forming an independent southern state in its pre-1990 borders.When the deadline expired with no compliance by the government, days of clashes ensued in Aden in which the STC quickly gained the upper hand, laying siege to the presidential palace and trapping members of Hadi's government.Muslimi said the political approach would have been to contain the situation but Hadi miscalculated and ultimately failed to isolate the movement.
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