Since mid-September 2021, the southern governorates of Yemen have been experiencing a surge in public demonstrations that often lead to street violence. This report focuses on governorates nominally under the control of the Internationally Recognized Government of Yemen (IRG) but de facto under Southern Transitional Council (STC) rule. These are Abyan, Ad Dali’, Aden, Hadramawt, Lahj, and Shabwah. The deterioration of living conditions primarily drives the civil unrest in southern governorates. The depreciation of the Yemeni rial and the resulting increase in the prices of commodities have largely affected people’s capacity to sustain their basic needs, including food. Increased power outages, disruptions to water provision, and a collapsing health system have also largely affected people’s wellbeing, and demands for better services remain at the centre of the protests. Local governance in the southern and western governorates remains fragmented, with tensions increasing between the IRG and the STC, including over the lack of progress in implementing the Riyadh Agreement.
The de facto control of the STC in the south and the lack of presence of IRG ministers in Aden further hamper the IRG’s ability to provide services and control the escalating situation. The Houthis’ advances towards Marib city can compromise IRG legitimacy in the south of Yemen, likely leading to more tensions with the STC. Such conflict further affects the economy and exposes the population to protection risks and higher food insecurity levels