Yemen

Yemen by Alistair Galloway

President Hadi and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rejected the formation of a transitional political council for the separation of southern Yemen on 14 May. A state of emergency was declared on 15 May in the rebel-held capital of Sanaa after a major outbreak of cholera. The minister of foreign affairs for Oman, Yusuf bin Alawi, reiterated Oman’s support for President Hadi’s internationally backed government during a meeting with Yemen’s deputy prime minister on 15 May. Negotiations between President Hadi’s government and Houthi rebels took place in Oman in an attempt by the United Nations (UN) to resume full peace talks. Human rights groups have criticised the USD 110 billion arms deal made by President Donald Trump and the Saudi Arabian government on 23 May. On 27 May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) encouraged all warring factions in the Yemeni conflict to release all wrongfully held detainees and to reveal the whereabouts of all prisoners who have forcibly disappeared. A Saudi drone was destroyed by Houthi rebels in the northern province of Hajjah on 14 May. The UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheickh Ahmed, highlighted deep concerns for his safety and that of UN workers in Yemen after his convoy was attacked as he travelled from the airport to the UN compound in Yemen on 22 May. A raid by United States (US) marines killed seven suspected al-Qaeda militants but also killed several civilians in the Marib governorate on 23 May. Forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regained control of Aden airport in the south of Yemen on 31 May. 

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

The European Union (EU) maintained its belief that a political dialogue rather than military conflict is the only way that peace can be achieved in Yemen. The United Nations (UN) confirmed on 10 April that, with its partners, it has succeeded in completing a nationwide polio campaign for children in Yemen. Mertixell Relano, spokesperson for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen, announced that up to 4.5 million children will be unable to complete the school year in Yemen this year. Several hundred activists marched from the UN offices in Sanaa to the besieged port city of Hodeidah to advocate for the creation of a humanitarian zone in the city. The United Nations organised a conference on the 25th of April to help raise funds for humanitarian assistance in Yemen. Save the Children and Watchlist are advocating for Saudi Arabia to be placed on the UN’s list of children’s rights violators due to recent attacks on hospitals and doctors in Yemen. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was reported to have offered 40000 Egyptian troops to the Saudi-led coalition on 17 April for the conflict against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Twelve Saudi Arabian military officers were killed in eastern Yemen on 18 April when their helicopter crashed in Marib province. Four Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a U.S drone strike in Maarib province on 18 April. Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, called on 20 April for Saudi Arabia not to bomb the rebel-held port of Hodeida. Seven Yemeni soldiers were killed in Aden on 24 April when a shipment of landmines accidentally detonated. President Hadi and the Yemeni government vowed to reclaim the port city of Hodeida from Houthi rebels earlier this month. The Saudi-led coalition has confirmed the capture of a senior al-Qaeda commander as well as other militants from the group during counterterrorism operations in the city of Hadramout on 23 April. Houthi forces have been accused by Human Rights Watch for the use of illegal landmines which have killed hundreds of civilians throughout Yemen. 

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

The Kuwaiti government launched a new project in Yemen named “Kuwait by your side” on 23 March. The spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed on 24 March that the agency has reached the besieged city of Mokha in the western governorate of Taizz. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) withdrew from the Al-Thawra hospital in Ibb on 23 March. A pro-Houthi court sentenced internationally- backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to death for high treason on 25 March. To mark the two year anniversary of the Yemeni conflict, mass rallies were staged in the Houthi held capital of Sanaa on 26 March. At least one hundred Saudi soldiers were killed or injured in two days during retaliatory attacks on military positions in south-west Saudi Arabia by Houthi forces. 42 Somali refugees were killed of the Yemeni coast when their boat was attacked by a helicopter on 17 March. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been permitted to construct a military base in the port of Berbera in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. The United Nations (UN) reported on 24 March that a third of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the brink of famine. According to senior officials in the United States’ (US) government, Donald Trump gave permission to the US military to increase the number of raids and drone strikes it carries out in Yemen. The Pentagon reported at the beginning of March that it had carried out over 20 air strikes on various positions of al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. Four al-Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike in the province of Abyan on 29 March. The Yemeni government appealed to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Email Ould Shaikh Ahmad, on 6 March to apply pressure on the Houthi rebels in Sanaa to transfer state revenues to the central bank in Aden. 

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

Yemen’s foreign minister, Hisham Sharaf, met with the World Food Program’s executive director in Sanaa to discuss the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 25 January, that it is analysing 252 allegations of humanitarian law violations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. The United Nations (UN) envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen on 26 January. Ten thousand people have now been killed by the Yemeni conflict according to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. Intense fighting occurred in the port city of Mokha, as Houthi Rebels defend the city from pro-government forces. Five people were killed, including two children, in an airstrike by Saudi Arabia near a primary school in the Houthi controlled district of Nihm in northern Yemen. Counter-terrorism forces in Yemen arrested an Islamic State affiliate in the city of Aden on 18 January. Three al-Qaeda militants were killed by drone strikes carried out by the United States military, the first to be confirmed during Donald Trump’s presidency. Two crew members of a Saudi-led coalition warship died after an attack by Houthi rebels on the boat. The Yemeni government announced on 9 January, that they have resolved the problem of a lack of physical cash in the country after a plane carrying 200 billion newly printed Yemeni riyals was sent to Aden.

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

The Houthi-supported Yemeni government of Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtour won a vote of confidence from the Yemeni parliament on 11 December concerning the government’s programme to combat Saudi aggression in the country and to address the social, economic, and security problems in Yemen. A major funding appeal by British charities began on 13 December with the hope of improving the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The Scottish government donated GBP 250,000 to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s crisis appeal for Yemen on 13 December. King Salman of Saudi Arabia called for an end in foreign interference in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen on 15 December. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) pledged on 29 December to hold a conference of humanitarian assistance for the ongoing Yemen conflict. An aid ship, operated by the Emirati charity Emirates Red Crescent, arrived in the port of Al Mukalla on 31 December with equipment to help stabilise electricity output in the southern region on Hadramaut. A ship travelling from Al Mukalla to the Yemeni island of Socotra capsized with nearly 60 people on board on 6 December. Oxfam warned in a report released on 6 December that Yemen is only a few months away from running out of food. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for an attack in the city of Aden on 10 December that killed 45 pro-government soldiers. Saudi Arabian troops were killed by sniper fire on 25 December in the Najran province of Yemen.Yemeni media reported on 30 December that around 150 IS fighters from Syria were transported to Yemen by a Turkish aircraft.

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

Houthi rebels in Yemen named the former governor of Aden, Abdel Aziz Saleh Habtour, as their prime minister on 3 October. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a large rise in cholera cases in Yemen since the outbreak in early October. Samantha Power, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations (UN), called for an end to the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes in Yemen on 31 October. Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad, put forward a roadmap for peace in Yemen during a UN Security Council meeting on 31 October. Saudi Arabia is under investigation by UN experts for an airstrike that killed 140 in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on 8 October. Five members of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist organisation were killed in Yemen by an American airstrike on 21 October. A 72 hour ceasefire took place from 19 to 22 October in Yemen. United States (US) Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan announced that the US has intercepted four weapon shipments from Iran to Yemen since April 2015 on 27 October. Houthi rebels in Yemen requested donations to the Yemeni central bank in order to alleviate the economic crisis facing the country and help fund the conflict against the Saudi government. Yemen’s central bank in Aden was attacked on 29 October in an attempt to further destabilise the country’s economy.

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Yemen by Alistair Galloway

Yemen’s Houthi leader accused the United States (US) of providing logistical support and political cover for Saudi-led air strikes. The United Kingdom announced it would increase its humanitarian aid to Yemen, bringing the total to GBP 100 million. Human rights activists were outraged by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s decision to decline the establishment of an independent inquiry into abuses in the Yemeni war. The Houthi offered a border truce to Saudi Arabia, in addition to an amnesty for Yemeni fighters in return for a halt in air strikes and a lift of the near blockade on the country. Over 25 people were killed and 70 wounded in a Saudi-led coalition strike in the port city of Hudaydah. The US killed 13 al Qaeda operatives in three counterterrorism strikes in Yemen. Saudi-led coalition strikes killed over 21 civilians in northern Yemen. Arab central banks supported the exiled Yemeni government’s decision to relocate its central bank to Aden. Yemen’s Aden oil refinery resumed its operations after being shut for over a year. 

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Yemen by Lewis McKinnon

Saudi Arabia failed to provide sufficient proof to be permanently removed from the United Nations (UN) blacklist for killing children in Yemen. Yemeni government negotiators left peace talks in Kuwait after Houthi militia rejected the UN’s proposal to end the war. Doctors Without Borders withdrew their staff from hospitals in northern Yemen. Large numbers of Yemenis gathered in support of Houthi rebels in Sanaa. Yemen’s ex-president Saleh declared he was interested in working with Russia to combat terrorism in Yemen. Official information from medical facilities in Yemen put the new toll of causalities to over 10,000 people. Yemeni government forces launched an offensive east of Sanaa after peace talks were inconclusive. Saudi Arabia intercepted two missiles fired from Yemen. Yemeni army forces pushed al-Qaeda fighters out of two cities and killed 40 suspected militants. An airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Hajjah. A suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) in Aden killed over 60 people. Exiled-Yemeni government sought to stop central bank officials from accessing state funds held overseas. Yemen resumed production and exports from its Masila oil fields. The cost of damaged infrastructure and economic losses amounted to $14 billion since the beginning of the civil war. 

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Yemen by Lewis McKinnon

The United Nations (UN)-sponsored peace talks resumed in Kuwait on July 16, however they were extended for an additional week and set to reconvene next month as a solution to the conflict is yet to be found. The Houthis declared that they would set up a governing body to run Yemen, as peace talks continued to be inconclusive. The UN called for a humanitarian truce in Taiz, as the government’s offensive to regain the city from the Houthi raised war crime allegations. Yemen’s health care system continues to collapse under airstrikes, causing unnecessary deaths from lack of medical care. The governor of Aden survived another car bomb attack, after his predecessor was killed by a similar explosion claimed by the Islamic State in December 2015. Seven Saudi troops and dozens of Houthi fighters were killed in a heavy clash on the Yemeni/Saudi border. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosion in Aden that wounded six soldiers and killed four. A car bomb exploded outside Bilal mosque in western Sanaa. Al-Qaeda led an assault on a military base near the international airport of Aden, killing eight Yemeni troops and six militants. Houthi forces launched a rocket barrage outside the city of Marib, killing seven children. The Yemeni government declared the sale of three million barrels of crude to Glencore, despite criticism from the main Yemeni refinery that has been struggling to provide fuel for local power stations. Frozen bank funds have left importers unable to buy new food stock, leaving many areas in Yemen close to famine. Over $200 million of funds from the Yemeni Central Bank were transported by plane to Bahrain and deposited in Saudi Arabia. 

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Yemen by Lewis McKinnon

The United Nations (UN) backed peace talks were adjourned until 15 July in Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) declared that the war was almost over for its troops in Yemen. Saudi Arabia handed over 54 child prisoners to the Yemeni government, captured while fighting against the Houthi. A decision by the United Nations to remove Saudi Arabia from a blacklist of countries and groups alleged to have violated children’s rights prompted widespread dissatisfaction amongst human rights groups. The Saudi-led coalition declared it has intercepted a missile fired from Yemen. United States (US) air strikes killed 15 al Qaeda fighters in Yemen. An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition killed 25 people in Taiz province. A triple bomb attack let by the Islamic State (IS) killed over 35 people and injured 24 in Mukalla. A Saudi-led coalition air strike killed 10 Yemeni civilians in the southern Lahj province. Houthi rebels killed seven people while searching for the leader of pro-government militia in Nadara, Ibb Province. The UN stressed the urgent need of support for the Yemeni central bank. Persistent power cuts in Aden caused the city’s inhabitants to take the streets in protest, feeding into southern separatist sentiment. 

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