The current conflict in Yemen is one of the greatest humanitarian crises of all time. Indeed, it is the most pressing one blighting our modern world. Since its beginning in 2014, at least 100,000 people have been killed and 4 million people displaced. In addition, the devastation of Yemeni agriculture and supply lines has undermined the food security of over 24 million people. This article provides a brief background on the history of the conflict and the attempts that have been made to restore peace. Despite many attempts towards a resolution, the situation in Yemen is currently failing to evolve favorably.
The origins of the Yemen crisis can be traced to a change in government in 2011 from President Ali Abdullah Saleh to President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. This transition left the country with an unstable government and a frustrated body of citizens. The Houthi rebels capitalized on this moment of political unrest, and in 2014 took control over the northern Yemeni city of Sa’dah. After almost a year of military activity, the Houthis took over the capital city of Sana’a in early 2015. As a consequence, President Hadi and his government were forced to flee the country.
What was originally an intra-state conflict spilled over to neighboring nations. In response to Houthi advances, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) formed a coalition aiming to restore the former government of Yemen under President Hadi. Since this time, the conflict between this Coalition and the Houthis has escalated, leading to the deaths and displacement of thousands of innocent civilians. Both groups have utilized missile airstrikes, bombs, arbitrary detentions, and many other violent acts in their military campaigns. It has also been reported that both the Saudi-UAE Coalition and the Houthis use child soldiers. The instability of Yemen has led to the worsening of already poor socioeconomic conditions, leaving 20 million people unable to access adequate nourishment, and 18 million without access to clean water and sanitation.
Various actors have attempted to promote peace agreements between these warring factions in Yemen, including the United Nations and the United States’ Biden administration. The Stockholm Agreement was a peace agreement promoted by the United Nations in December 2018 that called for a ceasefire in Al Hudaydah, a major port city. By keeping this city and port open, the progenitors of this agreement hoped to eliminate further barriers to food and aid deliveries.
Despite this and other attempts at peace, the violence in Yemen has not shown signs of slowing down, and despite the work of many organizations, including UNICEF, the UNHCR, and the World Food Programme, there are still millions of people in need of humanitarian aid. The future of the Yemen conflict is difficult to predict, however, it is clear there is a need for increased international efforts to de-escalate the conflict to ensure the human rights of Yemeni citizens are upheld.
- Omicron: The Newest Concerning COVID-19 Variant, Global Panic, Need For Global Vaccine Equity - November 29, 2021
- 11,000 People Flee From Conflict In The Democratic Republic Of The Congo - November 15, 2021
- Calls for Resignation of Lebanese Information Minister, George Kordahi - November 10, 2021