September 15-21: Griffiths meets Houthis in San’a, humanitarian outlook worsens

9/15

The World Food Program reported that their Red Sea Mill Silos, which “mill a quarter of the WFP’s monthly wheat requirements,” came under attack. Additionally, a mortar shell was launched by an unidentified armed group at another WFP warehouse location. This warehouse was reported to be holding enough food for 19,200 people. Since these incidents, the WFP has been unable to deliver aid to civilians.  

August 28-September 14: Coalition resumes assault on Hudaydah

8/30

A UN report stated that nearly “120,000 suspected cases of cholera were reported” in Yemen between January and Mid-August, with the number of cases steadily increasing. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric worried that “the increasing rate of infections” could signify a “possible third wave of the epidemic.”

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Compliance with NDAA Section 1290 - September 2018

NDAA Section 1290 conditions further United States refueling assistance to the Saudi-led coalition’s air raids in Yemen on whether the Secretary of State can certify to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are undertaking specific steps to support a peace process and reduce civilian harm in Yemen. Drawing from the language of Section 1290, we briefly analyze the extent to which Saudi Arabia and the UAE have undertaken these measures and provide a recommendation for further congressional action.

Building Back Better: Priorities for Yemen's Economic Reconstruction

It might seem premature to discuss reconstruction as the war in Yemen drags on, with many actors on the ground seeing no end in sight. However, several key decision-makers, including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, are already discussing post-war strategies for reconstruction and recovery in Yemen. It is valuable then to discuss some policies that could facilitate rebuilding Yemen’s fractured economy, with an eye toward the future and the cessation of hostilities, but including those that could help the economy even before the conflict has ended.

Power Struggles in Ta'iz Pitch Aligned Groups Against Each Other, Report Finds

While the war in Yemen is often portrayed as having two sides---the Houthis aligned with GPC-San’a against the Saudi-led coalition and Hadi’s government forces--in reality, both sides are fragmented, with groups representing different political loyalties, often resulting in conflict among the groups within each alliance.

August 14-27: Civilians killed in Durayhimi, government-UAE tensions ratchet up again

8/14

Yemeni journalists on social media reported intense fighting between Houthi and coalition forces in the streets of al-Durayhimi, just south of Hudaydah City. Journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported multiple civilian casualties and heavy damage to residential neighborhoods.

8/15

The AP reported that fighting in al-Durayhimi killed at least 13 civilians in 24 hours. Sources also say Houthi shelling killed five civilians in Hajjah, where the Houthis face resistance from some local tribes as well as the coalition.

The AP quoted US officials who confirm that the UAE has paid money to Yemeni tribes to facilitate the withdrawal of AQAP from certain areas. This follows an earlier AP report that detailed the UAE’s practice of accommodating AQAP, and incorporating AQAP members into pro-government forces.

UAE military leaders told The Independent that the Emirati military intends to remain in Yemen for as long as it takes to “crush” AQAP, even after the Houthis are defeated. Many Yemenis believe that the UAE has colonial ambitions in southern Yemen, and its methods in the fight against AQAP have been criticized.

Profits of War, Obstacles to Peace

As the crisis in Yemen approaches its fifth year, wartime economic opportunities have entrenched themselves in the political economy of Yemen. As long as they exist, these economic opportunities represent disincentives to negotiation for the same powerful parties whose buy-in is essential for a peaceful resolution to the war.

IHL & HRL Violations - June 2018

ANSAR ALLAH/HOUTHI MOVEMENT

Ta’iz Governorate

On June 2,  journalist Anwar Al-Rukn died after being imprisoned at a Houthi-controlled detention facility for ten months. He was released from prison severely dehydrated and weakened, resulting in his death three days after his release. This violates Rule 34 of Customary IHL, which states that journalists that do not take a direct role in the conflict are protected parties. Additionally, torture and cruel or inhuman treatment violates Rule 90 of Customary IHL.

The ambiguous decline of jihadist militancy in Yemen

A July 2018 policy paper by Dr. Elisabeth Kendall for the Middle East Institute explores the gradual development of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Yemen (ISY), and the conditions each organization require to succeed. Kendall analyzes the structures of AQAP and challenges the organization has faced. She also compares AQAP to ISY and considers their recent decentralizations. She urges key conflict actors to take actions to ultimately end the war and act now to restrict jihadist militancy in Yemen.

August 8-13: Airstrike on school bus draws international attention; new report details prison abuses

8/8

International aid groups protested the "symbol of aggression and oppression" the San'a airport has become. There have been 56 coalition airstrikes on the airport in the past two years, an average of one every two weeks.

Yemen’s ambassador to the US, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, argued Wednesday that the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would “contribute to the end of the war in Yemen.”

August 1-6: Attacks in Hudaydah continue; coalition ties with al-Qaeda revealed

8/1

After facing criticism and threats for attacking vessels in the Red Sea, the Houthis announced a halt on naval military activity. The ceasefire will take place from August 1 to 15, according to Houthi leader Mohammed al-Houthi, who said this period could be extended with the cooperation of the coalition.

War and Water Insecurity in Yemen

Yemen faces many problems in the years to come; often forgotten is the increasing threat of climate change. The country has long faced issues of water insecurity and scarcity, desertification and overgrazing, but these issues are set to get worse given the global climate and, even more so, the war in Yemen.

July 24-31: US defense budget conditions support for coalition; Griffiths continues shuttle diplomacy

7/24

Middle East Eye reports that the Yemeni government is offering high salaries, paid in Saudi riyals, to people displaced from Hudaydah who are willing to fight on the front lines. Fighting is often the only feasible way for displaced people living in government camps to earn an income.

An apparent roadside bomb killed four people and injured five, including a senior security official, in Aden.

US House and Senate leadership have released the final version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual defense budget bill will include two provisions relating to Yemen, one of which requires the administration to investigate US involvement in the torture of detainees by UAE forces; the other provision will place conditions on US refueling for coalition air operations. The YPP and our partner organizations have been working for several months to ensure that these amendments make it into the final law.

An apparent US airstrike killed 4 suspected AQAP operatives in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition forced a plane belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross to land in Saudi Arabia after the plane made a sudden change of course. The flight was later allowed to continue to its final destination.

Currency in Crisis: The Yemeni Riyal and the Dangerous Effects of Depreciation

A taxi driver is unable to feed his family after long days of work. A police officer spends most of his salary on transportation to and from his workplace. A government employee’s salary is worth half of what it was worth before the war. A school teacher goes to work everyday, but hasn’t been paid for five months. Financial strain in the Yemeni economy has had an outsize impact on Yemenis’ lives, as ordinary Yemenis contend with the falling currency value that decreases their purchasing power on imported items.

July 16-23: No clear progress in negotiations as conditions in Hudaydah worsen

7/17

After months of local protests, the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition has given up control of al-Ghayda airport in eastern Yemen according to Al Jazeera.

Houthi shelling in Ta’iz killed 3 civilians and injured 6 others today. The Houthis have continued the current spate of shelling for over two weeks.

Fighting in Hudaydah Governorate killed at least 30 civilians in the first two weeks of July.

House and Senate Leadership Agree to Investigate US Involvement in UAE Torture, Condition Assistance to Coalition

Washington, DC -- Last night, congressional leadership released the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, which includes two amendments that will bring greater oversight and accountability to the activities of the United States and Saudi-led coalition allies intervening in Yemen’s civil war. As a pacifist organization, the Yemen Peace Project does not endorse the NDAA; however, we welcome the inclusion of Section 1274 and Section 1290 in the final legislation and, once signed into law, we strongly encourage members of Congress to take advantage of their provisions in order to increase transparency concerning US engagement in the conflict and pressure coalition allies to adhere to international law and the United Nations-led peace process.

JULY 7 - JULY 16: PAUSE IN HUDAYDAH OFFENSIVE CONTINUES TO ALLOW TIME FOR NEGOTIATIONS

07/07

Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, strengthened his rhetorical support for the Houthis, announcing in his June 29th speech that he wished to be with those fighting on the west coast [AR]. The Iraqi al-Shuhada Brigade has offered to send fighters to the west coast, as well[AR]. Observers say that a small number of Hezbollah advisors are working with the Houthis in San’a and Hudaydah.

The role of women transforms during wartime, AWAM Development Foundation study finds

In May 2018, the Awam Development Foundation, in partnership with Oxfam and the Youth Leadership Development Foundation, produced a report titled The  Impacts of War on the Participation of Women in Civil Society Organizations and Peacebuilding. The study explores the ways in which the war in Yemen is affecting women across various industries and regions. A study team conducted interviews in the San’a, Aden, Hudaydah and Ibb governorates, examining the life of average Yemeni women and their roles, or lack thereof, as peace builders in their communities. The evidence gathered from these interviews culminated in new recommendations intended for both national and international policymakers.

Before 2014: Yemen's Economy Before the War

Yemen has suffered from economic woes since the unification of the North (Yemen Arab Republic) and South (People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen) in 1990. Months after unification, Yemen—then on the UN Security Council—voted against the authorization of use of force against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait. The vote not only provoked the US and Saudi Arabia to cut off all aid to the new state, it also spurred the expulsion of nearly 750,000 Yemenis from Saudi Arabia, many of whom had worked there for decades, sending remittances to their families still in Yemen.[1] As external funding flowing into the nation trickled to a stop, the 1994 civil war and subsequent political crises decreased investor confidence, racked up reconstruction expenses, and sent Yemen's economy spiraling.