Events-data based analysis of conflict and protests in al-Mahra and in Socotra.
In Yemen, years of conflict have contributed to an extreme fragmentation of central power and authority and have often eroded local political orders. Local structures of authority have emerged, along with a plethora of para-state agents and militias at the behest of local elites and international patrons.
This is the second report of a three-part analysis series exploring the fragmentation of state authority in Southern Yemen, where a secessionist body – the Southern Transitional Council (STC) – has established itself, not without contestation, as the “legitimate representative” of the Southern people. Since its emergence in 2017, the STC has evolved into a state-like entity with an executive body (the Leadership Council), a legislature (the Southern National Assembly), and armed forces, although the latter are under the virtual command structure of the Interior Ministry in the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Investigating conflict dynamics in seven southern governorates, these reports seek to highlight how Southern Yemen is all but a monolithic unit, reflecting the divided loyalties and aspirations of its political communities.
This second report focuses on the Arabian Sea island of Socotra and the easternmost region of Mahrah. Previously forming the Mahrah Sultanate of Ghaydah and Socotra, they hold a special place in Yemeni dynamics in that they are the only two governorates that have not been directly affected by the violence of the current conflict. They have, however, been impacted by conflict-related tensions, which are primarily the result of interventionist policies from Saudi-led coalition states, upsetting otherwise peaceful tribal orders.
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