ADEN, Yemen's government and the opposition Southern Transitional Council (STC), began repositioning their troops stationed in the country's southern provinces, according to a Saudibrokered deal signed in Riyadh last Nov.

An official of Yemen's government said, the army, backed by several armoured vehicles began a gradual withdrawal from the southern province of Abyan.

All the army units left their sites and immediately came back to the previous positions in the northern Marib province, the source said.

Under the supervision of a Saudi military committee, the STC's military units, that were mobilised to confront the government forces, also started a gradual withdrawal from Abyan province.

A source of the Adenbased STC, confirmed that Saudi commanders held a series of meetings with local leaders of the military units in Abyan and succeeded in convincing them to begin redeployment of forces.

He said, a number of military units linked to the STC left their bases and headed directly to the country's western coast areas, to confront Houthis there.

According to the arrangements of the Riyadh deal, both forces loyal to Yemen's government and the STC would be deployed in areas that are witnessing confrontation with the Houthi rebels.

On Jan 9, Yemen's government signed a new agreement with the Adenbased STC, to implement the Saudibrokered deal signed last Nov in Riyadh, including withdrawing all military forces from Aden.

With direct supervision from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), representatives of the STC and the country's government reached an agreement to withdraw forces from Aden within three weeks.

Last year, Saudi Arabia persuaded the STC and the Yemeni government to hold reconciliation talks, which succeeded in reaching a deal to form a new technocrat cabinet of no more than 24 ministers.

But numerous obstacles prevented the implementation of the deal, such as forming a new government and achieving permanent stability in southern Yemen.

The deal also included the return of the exiled Yemeni government to Aden and the unification of all military units under the authority of the country's interior and defence ministries.

Source: NAM News Network

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