During the past 8 years, a civil war has broken out in Yemen. In 2011, Arab Spring uprisings threw out the long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh in favor of his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. However, he had many problems right away ranging from food insecurity to corruption. Yemen is the gulf regions poorest country. Many people were disillusioned with the power transition and a local group of rebels, the Houthi, started skirmishing against the government.
By 2015, the Houthi Rebels had taken over Sanaa and Hadi had fled abroad. In 2015, Saudi Arabia, believing that the Iran was backing the Houthi rebels, started a devastating air campaign against the Houthi rebels in an effort to restore the Hadi government. The country has been in decline ever since then. The humanitarian crisis has been devastating.
And Somehow It’s Getting Worse
The US, UK And France have provided logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia during their support of the Hadi government and many people have been killed during the conflict. The Hadi government has set up in Aden but cannot provide basic services to the territories it controls. 85,000 children have died in the conflict. Recently, the UN estimates that 123 Yemenis are killed or injured each week in the conflict.
The international community has sharply focused on the humanitarian crisis, especially during the peace talks in Sweden that simply aren’t going well. However, despite US involvement in the peace talks via the UN, this has not stopped the US from continuing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia to decrease its support of the air strikes. Saudi Arabia has been supportive of the peace talks in Stockholm but they have not let up airstrikes. Both sides have been accused of human rights violations and the Houthi rebels have been accused to torturing prisoners of war.
What Does the Future Hold?
The pathway forward in this conflict is not clear. The U.N. has downplayed the outcomes of the peace talks and Western powers have not decreased their support with intelligence, logistics and U.S. drone strikes. One thing is clear: the people of Yemen are suffering and there is no end in sight at this time.