Yemen at the UN - February 2017 Review
Summary In February, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that “Yemen is facing the largest food security emergency in the world”, and estimated that the country’s domestic reserves of wheat would be completely exhausted by the end of March 2017. The UN human rights commission raised credible reports that war crimes were committed by both the main warring sides during battles for the Red Sea port town of Mukha. These battles saw the forces backing Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi capture the town from the Houthi movement and its main ally, former President Ali Abdullah…
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Yemen at the UN - January 2017 Review
Summary In January, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed entered a period of shuttle diplomacy in an attempt revive the same peace proposal he’d put forward in December 2016 – a proposal Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi had at that time flatly rejected. The UN 2140 Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts reported last month that neither side in the conflict has “demonstrated sustained interest in or commitment to a political settlement or peace talks”, while pro-Hadi forces appear poised to further capitalize on recent battlefield advances. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien said the Yemeni…
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Yemen at the UN - December 2016 Review
Summary In December, the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi officially rejected the latest UN proposal to end the conflict in Yemen. The Hadi government then laid out new conditions for any future peace agreement that effectively preclude the possibility of a negotiated end to the war. The Houthi movement and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh sought out but failed to garner international recognition for their recently formed “Government of National Salvation” (GNS), following which the GNS was affirmed through a vote of confidence in the Houthi-Saleh controlled Parliament in Sana’a. While there…
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Yemen at the UN - November 2016 Review
Summary In November, United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he had reached an agreement between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Houthi movement to end the fighting in Yemen. He did so, however, without obtaining the agreement of the internationally recognized government of Yemen, one of the war’s main belligerent parties. The ceasefire was almost immediately violated and quickly failed. The opposition Houthis and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced the formation of a new government in Sana’a. The move was seen as an attempt to redress public outrage at the opposition’s…
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Yemen at the UN - October 2016 Review
Summary In October, the Houthi forces’ use of anti-ship missiles targeting vessels in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait led to a brief but direct intervention in the Yemeni conflict by the United States navy. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on a funeral gathering in Sana’a caused massive casualties and brought widespread international condemnation, however the US and United Kingdom continued to oppose an international investigation into war crimes in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia was re-elected to a second term on the UN Human Rights council. Meanwhile, a new peace plan put forward by the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, while initially rejected by…
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Old man in Old Sana'a, Sep 8 2016
: The Yemeni government’s decision in September to relocate the central bank and replace its governor has left the country without an institution capable of providing basic economic stabilization. While all the belligerent parties to Yemen’s armed conflict have sought to leverage economic factors, the incapacitation of the central bank may represent an unprecedented escalation in this regard and the international community must act to ensure the starvation of millions of people is not employed as a tactic of this war. In July this year the United Nations elevated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen to Level 3 – the highest…
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Yemen at the UN - September 2016 Review
Summary United Nations efforts to end the conflict in Yemen made no effective headway in September, while political developments both at the UN and on the ground in Yemen will likely complicate future UN peace efforts. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ recommendation to establish an independent international commission to investigate war crimes by all sides to the Yemeni conflict was turned down by the UN’s Human Rights Council, which instead adopted a resolution to increase assistance to a controversial Yemeni committee investigating war crimes. In addition, the internationally-recognized government’s decision in mid-September to relocate the Central Bank of…
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The Essential Role of Local Governance in Yemen
Yemen’s local councils are responsible for the day-to-day provision of basic public services to 26 million Yemenis and are amongst the most crucial institutions of governance in the country. However, the outbreak of civil war in 2014 and the subsequent Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen in March 2015 has devastated local councils’ ability to provide these services: financial resources have evaporated, armed militias challenge their authority, and extremist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have assassinated council members. Despite the challenges, local councils have been generally resilient and continue to operate in some form in most parts…
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