However, many authors believe that the representation of southern and northern Yemen remains problematic, as the agreement lacks an inclusive approach and ignores several political groups, including southern factions that are not linked to the STC. Mareike Transfeld, of the Free University of Berlin, observes that many political forces in Yemen claim to represent large geographical areas, but none of them have been democratically elected, so it is highly doubtful whether they represent the people or territories they control. The standoff between their respective Yemeni allies has often erupted in violent unrest that threatens to dismantle the Saudi-led coalition and complicates broader peace efforts to end five years of civil war that has killed more than 112,000 people and caused the world`s worst humanitarian catastrophe. The strategic ambitions of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates diverge in Yemen, to the detriment of hopes for peace on the ground, as the parties to the agreement have failed to meet the deadline for setting up a power-sharing government, many Yemenis are questioning whether the agreement is realistic and achievable. The power-sharing agreement, signed last fall in the Saudi capital Riyadh, creates the conditions to end a long-standing rivalry between Yemen`s Saudi-backed government and emirati-backed southern separatists. The agreement was never implemented. The forces that advanced towards Aden, Abyan and Shabwa, the site of deadly clashes between government forces and the STC, must return to their original positions under the agreement. Firstly, the United Nations must replace its geographically limited approach with national peace talks, including those that resolve the impasse between the main belligerents and end hostilities on all front lines. By focusing on a small number of governorates, mediators have temporarily limited armed clashes along some front lines, while ignoring many others. Thus, the Stockholm agreement of December 2018 led to a significant military de-escalation between the Joint Forces and the Houthi rebels in Hodeidah.
However, it failed to mitigate the August 2019 armed clashes between the Yemeni government and forces allied to the Southern Transitional Council (NRC) in Aden and other areas, while riots have been detected since at least January 2018 and the Riyadh agreement attempted to attack later in November 2019. Although most armed conflicts have ceased, the situation remains uncertain and it would be naïve to believe that the agreement will be easy to implement. Much will depend on how it is perceived by both opposing sides and whether it is understood as a win-win solution. . . .