Analysis

  • Taiz: A Hotbed of Irregular Militias

    Yemen’s Taiz enjoys a strategic location, stretching from central Yemen to the Red Sea Coast, and extending south to the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes. The governorate has paid a heavy price during the past decade as a result of the turmoil that Yemen has experienced since 2011, when popular protests erupted against the former regime of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh. During the outbreak of the current conflict in 2014-15, Taiz witnessed the…

    Read more...
  • Redefining What Peace in Yemen Means and How to Achieve it

    Yemenis are losing hope that the warring parties are capable of reaching a peace agreement that can pave the way for a new political transition process. Since the signing of the Stockholm Agreement in late 2018, the United Nations special envoy has failed to convince representatives of the warring parties to meet face-to-face and agree…

    Read more...
  • The View from Iran after Raisi’s Election

    Early this year, months before Iran held its presidential elections, significant security talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia were held in Baghdad. Security and military officials from both countries reportedly met at least three times. Little is known about the actual substance of the talks, other than that they involved Yemen-related affairs. But the composition…

    Read more...
  • Shabwa’s Journey to the Center of a Regional Proxy Conflict

    In pre-Christian times, Yemen’s Shabwa region was the capital of three ancient Yemeni kingdoms: Qataban, Osan and Hadramawt. It possesses incredible geographic diversity, with a picturesque Arabian Sea coastline along with mountains and desert landscapes. It is home to powerful local tribes as well as to one of the most delicious organic honeys in the…

    Read more...
  • In Search of a Peacemaker Who Can Deliver

    In May the United Nations announced that Martin Griffiths, the UN’s special envoy to Yemen, would be stepping down to take a new position as under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. His successor, unnamed as of this writing, will be the fourth person to hold the position since Houthi forces entered Sana’a in September 2014. To mark…

    Read more...
  • 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...