Analysis

Latest Analysis

  • In Focus: Return to Aden

    In February 2016, after 29 years in Aden, I left my city to live in another country. My mother asked me to leave because of the security situation. In the five years since I’ve returned three times – my latest trip home was earlier this year. The Yemeni poet Abdullah Al-Bardouni wrote about how a… Read more...
  • What is Muscat Doing in Yemen?

    By Maged Al-Madhaji An Omani Royal Air Force aircraft landed in Sana’a on June 5. On the plane was a delegation from the Omani Royal Office, along with a number of Houthi officials, including the movement’s chief negotiator and spokesperson Mohammed Abdel Salam. During their time in the Yemeni capital the Omanis held meetings with… Read more...
  • UN-Backed Prisoner Swap Negotiations in Yemen Locked in Stalemate

    The latest round of United Nations-backed prisoner exchange negotiations, which took place in late January through mid-February in Amman between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and de facto authorities from the armed Houthi movement (Ansar Allah), collapsed after a month with no agreement reached. That the warring parties failed to reach a deal demonstrates that the prisoner file continues to be marred by technical and political issues. These problems must be overcome if the Yemeni parties and current UN special envoy… Read more...
  • Yemen’s West Coast: A look into politics, society and war along the Red Sea

    The Road to Mokha Arriving in Aden in early April, a week before the holy month of Ramadan began, the first thing that struck me was the general feeling of worry. A second wave of coronavirus was gripping the city, adding to fears related to security, internal conflict, the economic situation and the deterioration of… Read more...
  • Presidential Councils in Yemen: Exploring Past Attempts at Power Sharing and Possibilities for the Future

    To further explore the idea of a presidential council, it is useful to examine past executive councils in Yemen’s history, including their composition, strengths and weaknesses. This includes councils under four different presidents in the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1962-1978, a ruling council in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) from 1969-1978 and, finally, a presidential council following unification in 1990. The fact that many of these councils were ultimately judged to be ineffective or overthrown… Read more...
  • Short on Trust, Weapons and Planning, Government Surge in Taiz Fails

    Editor’s note: The author, a Yemeni analyst based in Taiz, is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons. Introduction Taiz has been a divided city since 2015, with Houthi forces (Ansar Allah) holding the northern suburbs of Yemen’s third-largest city as well as much of the northern part of the governorate. The Houthis control both… Read more...
  • Tribes and the State in Marib

    For most of Yemen’s modern history, the tribes of Marib have largely been perceived as hostile toward the state. This perception, however, has been turned on its head since the armed Houthi movement seized the capital Sana’a in 2014, after which the group set its eyes on neighboring Marib. In response, Marib’s tribes have emerged as the last line of defense against Houthi attempts to capture the strategic governorate from the internationally recognized government. Alongside the positive role the tribes… Read more...
  • The Saudi Blockade of Yemen Must be Lifted – But Not in Isolation

    Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen recently passed its six-year mark. The war has become an unwinnable quagmire from which Riyadh struggles to find a viable exit strategy, while it has had devastating humanitarian consequences for Yemen. This has led to a growing chorus of calls for the US to cease its support for Saudi Arabia’s… Read more...
  • Yemen’s Power-Sharing Cabinet: What’s At Stake?

    The new government was not formed in a stable country and of one party, or even from a coalition of harmonious parties. It was formed after long and difficult negotiations between warring sides that have thousands of fighters, brigades and heavy weapons and do not agree on principles, paths or goals. This process began in November 2019 with the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, the Saudi-backed deal to end the conflict in southern Yemen between the Yemeni government and the… Read more...
  • The CBY-Aden’s Crisis of Confidence – Assessing the UN Panel of Experts’ Corruption Allegations

    The United Nations Panel of Experts on Yemen recently accused the internationally recognized Yemeni government, its central bank and commercial food importers in the country of colluding to embezzle nearly half a billion dollars. The accusations were included in the panel’s annual report to the UN Security Council, published on January 25, which detailed a wide spectrum of findings related to political, military, security and economic developments in Yemen in 2020. Read more...
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