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On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the takeover of Sana’a by Houthi forces, the Institut de Recherche et d’Études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient (iReMMO) teamed with the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS) and the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) to hold a panel discussion on the latest developments in Yemen.

The event will be held exceptionally in English (without translation) as well as in French at the iReMMO in Paris, France and will be moderated by ARI’s Executive Director Nadim Houry.

On September 21, 2014, Houthi forces took control of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Since then, the conflict has escalated, seeing foreign players take part in the war that left disastrous consequences on the population. Recent confrontations between government forces and the separatists of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) have driven the government out from its temporary capital, Aden, and have exposed the chasm between Saudi Arabia and its Emirati ally.

The discussions will tackle the following questions: What are the implications of the latest developments in southern Yemen? What impact will this have on the population? Are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates currently competing in Yemen? What are the prospects for resuming negotiations?

Our speakers:

  • Farea Al-Muslimi (in English) is chairman and co-founder of Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies. He is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He previously worked for the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut and Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. as a visiting scholar where he covered Yemen and the Gulf. In August 2016, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon appointed Al-Muslimi to the Advisory Group of Experts for Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, a study mandated by Security Council resolution 2250 to examine the positive contribution of youth to peace processes and conflict resolution and effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels.

    Al-Muslimi’s writings and analysis on Yemen and the wider region have been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, New York Times, The National, The Independent, The Guardian, Al-Hayyat, Assafir Arabi, Al-Monitor, and many other publications.

  • Linda Al-Obahi (in French) is a graduate of the École Nationale d’Administration, Celsa and Sciences Po Strasbourg. She has carried out numerous missions with several non-governmental organizations, including Médecins du Monde in 2011 and the Rabat office of the United Nations Refugee Agency in 2016. Being Yemeni herself, Al-Obahi is extremely involved in anything related to her country, where she once ensured the coordination between Yemeni authorities and civil society in 2012. She was also the political adviser to the French Embassy in Yemen for the EIF project, supporting the drafting of the new constitution between 2013 and 2016. In 2015, she was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development for acts of courage and dedication in the service of France.
  • Zaki Othman (in English) has worked in the human rights sector for 18 years. A lawyer by training, he has worked in the fields of human rights, child protection, asylum, rule of law, as well as humanitarian and civil affairs. He has participated in UN peacekeeping operations and political missions in Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Southern Sudan. He is currently working for the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a focal point for Sudan. Since 2015, he has been a volunteer adviser to several civil society organizations based in southern Yemen that are engaged in the protection of civilian populations and the prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations. He has also participated in several human rights and peacebuilding initiatives based in southern Yemen.