Time to Rethink International Intervention in Yemen

by Omar Fili

Author: Nadwa Al-Dawsari

Affiliation: Middle East Institute
Organization/Publisher: Arab Center Washington DC.
Date/Place: April 7, 2021/USA
Type of Literature: Policy Analysis.
Word Count: 2787
Link: http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/time-to-rethink-international-intervention-in-yemen/
Keywords: Civil War, International Agreements, Democratic Transition, Peace Process
Brief:
Ten years have passed since the Yemen Arab Spring revolution, today the country is the world’s worst
humanitarian crisis. International intervention didn’t take local dynamics into consideration, making
Yemen’s predicament more dire. The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) National Dialogue Conference
didn’t resolve the power corruption of the previous government, the absence of real power transition
being a main cause for the ongoing civil war. The post-Arab Spring government led by President
Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi found itself fighting the Houthi rebels who took the capital Sanaa in 2014, in
addition to the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) centered in Aden. The UN has failed to
enforce an effective peace process, while the anti-Houthi Saudi-led coalition has only fueled the war
further. What makes it worse is that both the Saudis and the UAE have divergent interests, the Saudis
supporting President Hadi while the UAE supports the STC, and both groups are actively hostile to one
another. International initiatives such as the Stockholm Agreement in 2018 and the Joint Declaration in
2020 are ineffective due to Houthi incompliance; these initiatives are more likely to fail now as Yemen’s
fragmentation increases. A context-sensitive mitigation is crucial to avoid imposing unrealistic
agreements, and a true power democratic transition is paramount to avoid favouring one group over
the others.
By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant

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