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Yemen

CrisisWatch Yemen

Unchanged Situation

Deadly bombing in Aden city overshadowed long-awaited progress toward implementing Riyadh Agreement, while fighting in north continued. In positive step, govt and pro-independence Southern Transitional Council (STC) moved toward implementation of Nov 2019 Riyadh Agreement after Saudi officials 17 Dec announced both sides’ military and security forces had redeployed from Aden and key front lines in Abyan governorate, east of Aden, where new security cordon had been formed by non-aligned Salafist fighters previously based along Yemen’s Red Sea coast; Yemeni state media 18 Dec also announced formation of long-awaited 24-minister cabinet led by returning PM Maen Saeed Abdulmalek to be based in temporary capital Aden. Multiple explosions 30 Dec however rocked Aden airport as new cabinet arrived and disembarked plane, killing at least 26 people and injuring more than 100; second attack reportedly struck Aden’s Mashiq Palace, where cabinet due to be based. In north, after seizing key military base west of Marib city in Nov, Huthi fighters intensified attacks throughout month in southern and north-western Marib; STC-linked forces in al-Dhale governorate in early Dec reported wave of Huthi attacks on front lines between their governorate and Huthi-held Ibb governorate. In south, tensions mounted between govt-affiliated forces and STC over United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s control of two military bases in Shebwa governorate; local media 14 Dec reported exchange of artillery fire around major gas export facility overseen by French oil company Total at Balhaf town in Shebwa governorate; French parliamentarians 12 Dec demanded review of UAE control of terminal, citing concerns over allegations of torture at base. Meanwhile, fears persisted throughout month of potentially imminent U.S. decision to designate Huthis as foreign terrorist organisation that could further dent prospects for stalled UN peace process; Washington 10 Dec sanctioned three Huthi security officials for alleged human rights abuses. Saudi and U.S. officials mid-month blamed Huthis for 13 Dec attack on oil tanker off the port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, although Huthis denied responsibility. Saudi and Yemeni govt officials blamed Huthis for what they termed “terrorist” attack on Aden airport on 30 Dec, strengthening case for U.S. designation.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
15 Mar 2020
Now [Yemen's] fate is linked to a much bigger picture in a three-dimensional chess game. The Guardian

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
25 Feb 2020
[The Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] hasn’t posed the kind of threat to the West it did a decade ago in a number of years. Washington Post

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
4 Feb 2020
For now, neither the Houthis nor the Saudis wish to abandon the talks, but the de-escalation process is under severe strain. Washington Post

— Crisis Group Alert

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

Former Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Latest Updates

Podcast / United States

Social Media and the U.S. Capitol Events

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Rob Malley and Naz Modirzadeh talk with New York Times cybersecurity reporter Sheera Frenkel about the role that social media platforms played in the mob assault on the U.S. Capitol and the ways that online disinformation fuels conflict worldwide.

Podcast / United States

Hold Your Fire: President Trump’s Off-the-Rails Foreign Policy

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Aaron Miller, a veteran U.S. diplomat, unpacks President Trump’s unconventional foreign relations with our President Rob Malley and co-host Naz Modirzadeh, a Harvard professor of international law and armed conflict.

Podcast / Africa

Hold Your Fire: Ethiopia's Political Crisis

In this podcast series, Crisis Group President Rob Malley and Board Member Naz Modirzadeh, a Harvard professor of international law and armed conflict, dive deep into the conflicts that rage around the globe, along with Crisis Group field analysts and special guests. This week, they discuss U.S. support for the Yemen war and the absence of the Palestinian issue from the normalisation agreement among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, Will Davison, also joins them to discuss the challenges facing Ethiopia.

Rethinking Approaches to Peacebuilding in Yemen (Online Event, 7th July 2020)

Online Event to discuss International Crisis Group's report "Rethinking Peace in Yemen".

From Bad to Worse in Yemen

In Yemen, COVID-19 threatens to ravage what is already one of the world’s most vulnerable populations. In this excerpt from the Spring Edition of our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage greater inclusion in UN-led efforts to secure a ceasefire and settlement talks, and to increase humanitarian funding for Yemen in light of the pandemic.

Our People

April Longley Alley

Former Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
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