In a new article for the European Council on Foreign Relations, Adam Baron examines the unstable situation in Yemen's southern port city of Aden. The city serves as the provisional capital for President Hadi's government-in-exile, but despite its "liberation" from Houthi-Saleh forces by southern resistance fighters and Gulf state troops, security in Aden is practically nonexistent. On December 6, Aden's recently-appointed governor (nominally loyal to the Hadi government) and several of his guards were assassinated in a car bomb attack in al-Tawahi District. The attack was claimed by a local branch of the Islamic State organization.
The violence and instability in Aden—and for that matter, the rest of the country—remains fueled by patterns of instability that are, at their essence, rooted in years, if not decades, of failure by Yemen’s political leaders. Exacerbated by the ongoing conflict, this power vacuum has only grown in Aden as efforts by the Hadi government and its international allies to bolster the port city’s security have yet to move beyond the nominal stage.