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Yemeni gov't, separatist council start troops pullout

Crowds come together as Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council inaugurated a new National Assembly in south Yemen on 24 October 2017 [demolinari‏/Twitter]
Crowds come together as Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council inaugurated a new National Assembly in south Yemen on 24 October 2017 [demolinari‏/Twitter]

The Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Tuesday started a gradual withdrawal from the southern Abyan province abiding by the agreement reached in Riyadh.

In November, the Yemeni government and the United Arab Emirates-backed STC signed a deal to end the conflict over several southern cities, including Aden.

A military source confirmed to Anadolu Agency that on Tuesday both parties started withdrawals under the supervision of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen.

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On Monday, a Saudi committee arrived in the coastal city of Shakra in Abyan to resolve any obstacles that could occur while implementing the agreement.

On Thursday, Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the STC agreed on implementing the second phase of the Riyadh Agreement which includes the withdrawal of forces to its formal locations.

The source confirmed that the withdrawal will last for one week, and the forces of both parties will be positioned in place for confrontation with the Houthi rebel group.

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The agreement stresses on the return of the Yemeni government to the temporary capital of Aden and merging all military groups under the Ministries of Defense and Interior.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

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