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Yemen

CrisisWatch Yemen

Improved Situation

Yemeni govt and southern separatists signed agreement to end hostilities in south and Saudis reduced airstrikes in Huthi-controlled areas. Yemeni govt 5 Nov signed Riyadh Agreement with southern separatist group Southern Transitional Council (STC) following Saudi-led mediation; agreement provides 90-day timeline for formation of new cabinet with equal representation of northerners and southerners, implementation of political and security arrangements across south, and STC representation in future UN-led peace talks with Huthis. Parties missed deadlines to carry out initial steps including appointment of new governor and security chief in Aden as well as withdrawal of govt and STC forces from front lines across south. Limited clashes erupted in Aden 18 Nov between STC-affiliated forces and unidentified assailants. Saudi military operations against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels continued to decline as indirect talks continued. UN Envoy Martin Griffiths 22 Nov announced 80% fall in Saudi airstrikes in preceding two weeks. In response to Huthi strikes on coalition locations in Mokha 24 Nov, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes 25 Nov killed unknown number of Huthi rebels in Ras Isa port in Hodeida province; clashes followed between Huthis and govt forces around Hodeida. Huthis continued to refrain from strikes into Saudi Arabia but launched missile attacks inside Yemen, in Mokha and Mareb governorates. Huthi forces 17 Nov seized one Saudi and two South Korean vessels in Red Sea; 19 Nov released crews and vessels. Huthis 29 Nov claimed to have killed two Saudi pilots in attack on Saudi helicopter near border. Saudi-led coalition 26 Nov said it was releasing 200 Huthi prisoners and reducing restrictions on Yemeni airspace to enable medical evacuations from Huthi-controlled capital Sanaa; International Committee of the Red Cross 28 Nov announced successful repatriation of 128 Huthi detainees from Saudi Arabia. Kuwait 22 Nov declared willingness to host UN-sponsored peace talks.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

27 Oct 2019
A successful agreement [between the Yemeni government and southern secessionists] would keep a lid on violence long enough to allow progress in other parts of the country. Financial Times

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
2 Oct 2019
It has been politically more convenient to lay the blame for Houthis at Iran’s door than to say that the Houthis’ rise was the product of a series of internal political miscalculations and misplaced international priorities. Foreign Policy

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
18 Sep 2019
Without a political settlement, Yemen threatened to play a role as a trigger or to become embroiled in a wider regional conflict, in particular if a Houthi or Houthi-claimed attack was successful. Financial Times

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
11 Aug 2019
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have allied with distinct Yemeni partners. Yet to this point in the conflict, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh have worked to maintain a relative detente between competing interests in the south. Reuters

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
11 Aug 2019
The problem right now from the perspective of ending the [Yemen] war is that Saudi Arabia and to an extent the Trump administration are unwilling to do so without a tangible ‘win’ for Riyadh. Los Angeles Times

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
30 Jul 2019
[Al Qaida in Yemen has] become much more focused on integrating with local spheres and much less focused on the brand-name, big-ticket attacks. ABC News

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen

Latest Updates

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2019 – Third Update

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The third update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Sudan and Yemen.

After the Aramco Attack: A Middle East One Step Closer to Its “1914 Moment”

On 14 September, strikes of uncertain provenance hit Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities, taking some 50 per cent of the kingdom’s oil production temporarily offline. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of the attacks and their implications for Middle Eastern and international peace and security.

Special Briefing / Global

Seven Opportunities for the UN in 2019-2020

The UN General Assembly kicks off on 17 September amid general scepticism about the world body’s effectiveness in an era of rising great-power competition. But the UN is far from paralysed. Here are seven crisis spots where it can make a positive difference for peace.

After Aden: Navigating Yemen’s New Political Landscape

Yemen’s anti-Huthi coalition has begun to splinter, with sharp fighting between Saudi- and Emirati-backed elements in the country’s south. With UN assistance, the Gulf monarchies should urgently broker a ceasefire as a prelude to an expanded peace process encompassing southern secessionists and others now excluded.

Also available in العربية

Preventing a Civil War within a Civil War in Yemen

Fighting within the anti-Huthi front threatens to make an already multi-faceted conflict even more complex and intractable. Clashes in Aden reveal tensions within the Saudi-led coalition and highlight the pressing need to address Yemen’s “southern question” now rather than wait until a post-conflict political transition.

Our People

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
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