The politics driving Yemen’s rising sectarianism

Photo by : Alex Potter The current armed conflict in Yemen began, essentially, as a domestic struggle for power between political and tribal factions. This reality ran contrary to the conventional narrative in the international news media that Yemen was another sectarian arena in the proxy war between the Middle East’s two great Sunni and Shia rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively. With the intensification of violence, however, and especially since the Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in Yemen in March 2015, the rhetoric espoused by the warring parties has taken on an increasingly acerbic sectarian tone. This has become a key feature… Continue reading…

How Yemen’s post-2011 transitional phase ended in war

Author: Maged al-Madhaji Published By: Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies In Partnership With: SaferWorld Download English version Download Arabic version The Gulf Cooperation Council and the international community brought together Yemen’s various political power brokers in 2011 to help end the crisis the country had entered following the so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings. These negotiations resulted in an agreement that became known as the GCC Initiative, which ushered Yemen into a “transitional phase”. This period was intended to pave the way for a peaceful transfer of power away from President Ali Abdullah Saleh, address citizen demands for democratic reform and transitional… Continue reading…

Yemen’s economic collapse and impending famine: The necessary immediate steps to avoid worst-case scenarios

Researchers: Farea Al-Muslimi Mansour Rageh Published By: Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies In Partnership With: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung SaferWorld Download English version Download Arabic version As a result of ongoing civil war and the Saudi-led military intervention, normal economic activity in Yemen has ground to a halt and the country now faces the real prospect of famine. Revenues from oil exports, which previously accounted for roughly 70% of Yemen’s national budget, have stopped completely. The country’s electricity production has become anaemic, which, coupled which a nationwide fuel shortage, has led to dozens of major factories and hundreds of smaller ones closing down,… Continue reading…

The Role of Local Actors in Yemen’s Current War

Authors: Sama’a Al-Hamdani Adam Baron Maged Al-Madhaji Published By: Sana’a Centre for Strategic Studies In Partnership With: SaferWorld Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Download English version Download Arabic version As civil war persists in Yemen, it is crucial for international and local policymakers, as well as military leaders, to expand their understanding of the role of local actors, and the dynamics at play between them, in order to reach an inclusive long-term peace agreement. In the absence of this awareness, Yemen risks remaining in a state of conflict and in the face of a tenacious humanitarian catastrophe for the foreseeable future. This policy brief… Continue reading…

The Roles of Regional Actors in Yemen and Opportunities for Peace

Authors: Maged Al-Madhaji Asil Sidahmed Farea Al-Muslimi Published By:‏ Sana’a Centre for Strategic Studies In Partnership With: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung SaferWorld Download English version Download Arabic version On the dawn of March 26th, 2015, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched Operation Decisive Storm, an internationally backed military campaign against the Houthis, a Zaidi Shi’a led rebel group, and forces allied to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen. The operation has given rise to new roles for new, non-Yemeni actors in the country, leading to an unprecedented regionalization of Yemen’s conflict. The Saudi military intervention, invoking what has since been dubbed the… Continue reading…