Publications

  • Yemen at the UN – November 2016 Review

    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…

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  • Trump and the Yemen war

    Under the Obama administration, United States policy toward Yemen was largely driven by regional concerns and counter-terrorism initiatives, with the drone campaign targeting Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen today remaining among America’s most intense. The Arab Spring uprisings, which reached Yemen in early 2011, complicated America’s regional relationships and seemed to sour Obama’s appetite for democratization. This became apparent in Yemen when the White House helped install a US-friendly administration in Sana’a after long-time ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh was…

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  • Yemen at the UN – October 2016 Review

    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…

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  • Yemen Without a Functioning Central Bank: The Loss of Basic Economic Stabilization and Accelerating Famine

    Executive Summary 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…

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  • Yemen at the UN – September 2016 Review

    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…

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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…

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  • Yemen at the UN – August 2016 Review

    United Nations-mediated peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict in Yemen stalled during the month of August, while divisions regarding Yemen became increasingly apparent at the UN Security Council and violence escalated around the country. The negotiations between the warring parties, held in Kuwait, ended in early August over an impasse regarding so-called “sequencing concerns” related to the UN-sponsored peace plan; these were essentially a disagreement over whether the Houthi rebels and allied forces should be required to cede capture…

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  • Yemen at the UN – July 2016 Review

    United Nations efforts to resolve the Yemeni conflict were marked by disputes and setbacks during the month of July. Days before the originally scheduled conclusion of peace talks in Kuwait on July 31, the Houthi rebels and their allied General Popular Congress (GPC), led by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, unilaterally established a governing council in Yemen that both leaves out the internationally-recognized Yemeni government and undermines the UN-led peace process. Although the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould…

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  • THE SANA’A CENTER CONDEMNS THE ARREST OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MAGED AL-MADHAJI

    On the morning of July 24, 2016, the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies’ Executive Director, Maged Al-Madhaji, was arrested at his home by security forces loyal to the Houthi rebel movement. Madhaji, one of Yemen's most prominent intellectuals, was taken to Al-Wahda police station and interrogated, before being released later in the day.

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  • Yemen at the UN – June 2016

    United Nations efforts to bring about a cessation of the conflict in Yemen witnessed limited progress in June, and were marked by setbacks and controversies. It is uncertain whether any major breakthroughs will be achieved in the near term. That being said, the UN continued to play a role in a number of conflict-related issues, such as prisoner exchanges, facilitating commercial imports and confidence building measures between the belligerent parties.

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