Competition in al-Dhali’

STC Takes the Upper Hand

Mareike Transfeld

Ahmed Sharjabi

YPC Policy Report   •   April 16, 2020


Al-Dhali’ is witnessing an institutional transformation that is unique to its geographical and political location. In its northern districts, state institutions are under Ansarallah control through the installation of supervisors (ar: mushrif) who have full authority. The border districts between north and south are contested and active war zones, where most state institutions have collapsed. Southern districts, as well as the city of al-Dhali’, have come under the influence of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which is competing with the internationally recognized government (IRG) to dominate the governorate. The STC and IRG are unified only at the northern front against Ansarallah. In reality, the STC is seeking to end the IRG’s presence in al-Dhali’. For years the STC and those associated with the southern independence movement have struck a fine balance between serving the IRG, while also pursuing the interests of the southern movement. With the alliance becoming more fragile, the STC is pursuing increasingly independent, albeit risky strategies in al-Dhali’.