January 30 - February 5: Leaders try to subdue Southern conflict


In a new report, Stacey Philbrick Yadav argues southern fighting is evidence that Yemen’s civil war is actually a series of mini-wars. This fracturing is not considered in formal diplomatic processes, which is a major cause of the diplomatic standstill.


Fighting subsided when Southern Resistance Forces returned to government control two military bases they had seized last week. This was a result of mediation by the Saudi-led coalition, as the southern separatists and the Aden-based government are both allies of the coalition.

According to a FEWS NET report, the Riyal continues to depreciate despite the initial boost when Saudi Arabia injected $2 billion into the Central Bank. The report also shows that even without increased disruptions the worst-affected Yemeni households may soon exhaust their coping capacities, and move to the Catastrophe phase of food insecurity.

This month the UN Security Council is expected to hear a departing speech from Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and a humanitarian update from Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. In addition, the Council will likely renew the 2140 Yemen sanctions regime and the mandate of the supporting Panel of Experts.


AQAP’s durability in Yemen is frequently explained by tribal alliances. Tribes are thought to provide safe havens, fighters, and general support. Project on Middle East Democracy released a report by Nadwa al-Dawsari that shows tribes are not inherently roadblocks to anti-terror efforts, and could be used to effectively undermine terrorist organizations in Yemen.


The Saudi-led coalition said it has “one goal and shared vision for Yemen,” after fighting between Emirati-backed southern separatists and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government exposed a potential rift in the coalition. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have urged fighters in Aden to focus on the Houthis instead of one another.


Fighting between the government and the Houthis escalated on the eastern front of Ta’iz.

According to the Houthis, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a police building in San’a, killing eight people and wounding 58. Witnesses say many of the victims were civilians.


The leader of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidarus al-Zubaidi, is visiting the UAE in a presumed attempt to subdue conflict in Aden.

General Nasser al-Dhaybani, a senior Yemeni commander, claims the government is winning the war and coming closer to San’a every day. His words contradict the common perception of a persistent stalemate and the relatively static nature of the San’a frontline.