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Yemen

CrisisWatch Yemen

Unchanged Situation

Fighting lulled in north but violence persisted in south amid tensions between govt and southern separatists; UN Sec-Gen appointed new special envoy, and UN sounded alarm over risk of famine. In north, fighting quietened with post-Eid al-Adha reduction in fighting largely continuing throughout month. Huthis continued cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia (see Saudi Arabia). In south, Huthis made advances towards Shebwa governorate and other territories controlled by Yafa tribal confederation; Huthi pressure increased fragile security situation amid wave of tit-for-tat assassinations targeting govt and Southern Transitional Council (STC) officials. Alleged Huthi attack targeting Saudi-led coalition’s al-Anad military base in Lahj governorate 29 Aug killed at least 30 soldiers and wounded at least 50 others. Saudi mediation attempts to broker power-sharing accord between Hadi govt and STC remained stalled. After govt-aligned speaker of House of Representatives 28 July decided to hold parliamentary meeting in eastern Hadramawt governorate, part of pre-1990 independent south, protesters 1 Aug in response to STC call for civil disobedience reportedly burnt tyres, blocked roads and closed shops in Seiyun and Mukalla cities in Hadramawt governorate. STC during month made series of unilateral security appointments; mid-month threatened to enforce independent local exchange rate in areas under STC control as Yemeni riyal early Aug fell below record YR1,060 to $1 in govt-controlled areas. On diplomatic front, UN Sec-Gen Antonio Guterres 6 Aug announced selection of Swedish diplomat and current EU Ambassador to Yemen Hans Grundberg as new UN special envoy for Yemen; govt officials, Saudi Arabia and Oman 7 Aug welcomed appointment while Huthi chief negotiator next day said talks with Grundberg would be futile without progress toward reopening ports and airports. UN Assistant Sec-Gen for the Middle East Khaled Khairi 23 Aug raised alarm over fuel shortages, called on govt to allow entry of essential supplies into Hodeida port and urged all parties to stop “weaponizing the economy” amid Huthi-govt standoff over tax and customs payments at Hodeida port. UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths same day warned two thirds of population dependent on humanitarian aid and 5mn people in immediate danger of famine.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

12 Sep 2021
The Huthis [in Yemen] have gone from being a relatively contained rebel movement to de facto authorities who (control) the capital and territory where more than 20 million people live. AFP

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
7 Jul 2021
The Houthis appear to calculate that if they win in Marib, they will have won the war for the north of Yemen while humiliating the internationally recognized president. That is a considerable prize for their side, as it would also allow them to dictate terms for an end to the war. Los Angeles Times

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
29 Jun 2021
The good news is that there is clearly more focus on direct negotiations with the Houthi leadership in Sanaa [...] The bad news is that this hasn’t yet closed the gap between the Houthis’ and the Saudis’ positions. Until that happens, we won’t see much movement. Al Jazeera

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
18 Mar 2021
There are probably multiple agendas at play in Marib but the most urgent is the Houthis' belief they can take Marib city and end the war for the north [of Yemen]. Associated Press

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
14 Apr 2020
The prospect of the coronavirus spreading in Yemen offers a moment and indeed a humanitarian imperative to revive a political process. Reuters

April Longley Alley

Former Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
10 Apr 2020
Implementing a cease-fire [between Saudi Arabia and Yemen] is no small matter, and the first test of this is going to be whether the parties show up for this virtual meeting. New York Times

April Longley Alley

Former Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Latest Updates

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2021 – Spring Update

Every year Crisis Group publishes two additional Watch List updates that complement its annual Watch List for the EU, most recently published in January 2021. These publications identify major crises and conflict situations where the European Union and its member states can generate stronger prospects for peace. The Spring Update of the Watch List 2021 includes entries on Bolivia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Bringing Women Back in to Yemen’s Political Process (Online Event, 20th April 2021)

Online Event to discuss International Crisis Group's report The Case for More Inclusive – and More Effective – Peacemaking in Yemen

The Case for More Inclusive – and More Effective – Peacemaking in Yemen

International efforts to end the war in Yemen are stuck in an outdated two-party paradigm, seeking to mediate between the Huthis and their foes. As it pushes for renewed talks, the UN should broaden the scope to include Yemeni women’s and other civil society groups.

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Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
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