Houthis

January 5-11: UN officials report on ceasefire implementation, Houthis launch drone attack on government base

Saturday, January 5

Independent journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported that four factory workers were injured in al-Hudaydah when their factory was shelled. He also described Houthi practices in Hudaydah of repressing local community organizations and NGOs and looting their assets.

Sunday, January 6

President Trump has confirmed that Jamal al-Badawi, one of the al-Qaeda operatives responsible for the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, was killed in an airstrike in Marib Governorate on January 1.

Monday, January 7

The UN Secretary General's report was released on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreements as of today. The report notes that the Houthis have delayed the opening of key roads, and mutual ceasefire violations have been reported but not verified by the UN. Meanwhile, the Houthis have also failed to issue visas and clearances for UN personnel and equipment intended for Hudaydah. Meetings continue to be held with both sides.

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.

June 13-18: Hudaydah offensive displaces thousands, Griffiths seeks a last-minute deal

6/14

Civilians are fleeing Hudaydah as the Saudi-led bombardment intensifies near the airport, which lies south of the city.

President Hadi and other government officials arrived in Aden after being in exile for over a year. The trip follows Hadi’s recent visit to the UAE.

More than six months after his assassination, a video of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh recorded hours before his death has been released. In the video, Saleh gives his last speech, criticizing the Houthis and blaming Yemen’s crisis on them.  Saleh calls on all Yemenis to revolt and join the fight against the Houthis. The speech was broadcast to coincide with the start of the Hudaydah ground offensive, part of which is being led by Saleh’s nephew, Tariq.

6/16

Civilians continue to evacuate the districts surrounding Hudaydah’s airport as coalition forces move through the area.

The UN special envoy for Yemen arrived in San’a for crisis talks on Hudaydah.  Houthi officials deny the government’s claim that coalition forces have captured the airport.

6/18

The Houthis have responded to Saudi airstrikes by launching drone attacks in western Yemen.

UAE foreign minister Anwar Gargash called for an unconditional withdrawal by the Houthis from Hudaydah, potentially undercutting the UN special envoy’s latest efforts in the capital.

On Anniversaries

Originally, we at the Yemen Peace Project had decided to refrain from commenting on the third “anniversary” of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen. Mostly this is because we recognize March 26, 2015 as the severe escalation, but not the beginning, of Yemen’s civil war. That dishonor goes to the Houthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh, who took a faltering transitional government hostage by occupying San’a on September 21, 2014.

February 28- March 6: Senators introduce Joint Resolution 54; US, UK, France, and Germany condemn Iran

2/28

Peter Salisbury outlined why the UN-led peace process in Yemen has been unsuccessful thus far, and what steps Martin Griffiths, a former British diplomat who takes over the post of UN special envoy at the end of this month, can take to be more successful than his predecessors.

Houthis reeducate civil servants with "cultural courses"

This guest post comes to us from a trusted contact in Houthi-controlled San'a, and it represents the author's own opinions. The YPP has not been able to independently verify the incidents reported herein.

The Houthis have left no chapter of human rights law unviolated. They have committed all kinds of violations from murder, intimidation and torture against intellectual and political opponents as well as activists. In most cases, the violation of human rights is a forced and compulsory act of power or of arms. The Houthis have gone beyond attacking opponents and activists to peaceful citizens under their authority. People in the Houthi controled areas can no longer show any kind of resistance or rejection, even in their most basic culture and ideological rights. The Houthis are not as backward and ignorant as some think, but they are a group with extensive experience in sociology. Therefore, their behavior can not be random, but is rather very deliberate. The Houthis are a radical ideological organization, not only a political or social group. Consequently, the most important concern of this group is to control the faith of people and their values nd beliefs.

Chatham House encourages the incorporation of subnational and local groups in an expanded mediation process

In Yemen: National Chaos, Local Order, Chatham House's Peter Salisbury identifies Yemen as a “chaos state” characterized as “a nominal entity that exists largely as lines on a map and as a concept in newspaper reports and policymaker briefings" (p. 45). The traditional solution to restoring order in a “chaos state” is creating a centralized government that dictates legitimacy from the top down. According to Salisbury’s analysis, this approach is unlikely to work in Yemen. Yemen is not purely a contest for power between the Houthis and the government of President Hadi, or purely a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but rather “a region of mini-states at varying degrees of war with one another, and beset by their own complex internal politics and conflicts.”  

November 27-December 4; Former President Saleh is Killed Amidst Violence Between Houthi and Saleh Forces

11/27

The UN, after completing a delivery of 1.9 million diphtheria vaccines shortly after the Saudi-led coalition reopened Yemen’s airspace to humanitarian flights, stated that the successful delivery through the San’a airport “cannot be a one-off,” because nearly every Yemeni child is in need of further humanitarian assistance.

Governor of Ta'iz: Lack of Funds Exacerbates Deteriorating Economic and Security Situation

The governor of Ta’iz, Ali al-Mamari, recently described the economic and military conditions of Ta’iz in an interview with Farea al-Muslimi of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. The Houthis stormed Ta’iz in 2015, and fighting between Houthi-Saleh forces and local resistance groups supported by the Hadi government and the Saudi-led coalition has continued since. The Houthis control Ta’iz’s industrial areas of major economic activity, and in order to keep control of these revenue-generating areas, the Houthis blockade and shell Ta’iz. Al-Mamari details how the central government, particularly the Central Bank of Yemen, neglects Ta’iz - and how the lack of funds contributes to the deteriorating security, education, and public health situation.

Inside Houthis’ illegal prison: fragile bodies and skeletons

The Abductees’ Mothers Association in Yemen recently released a statement revealing an extralegal detention facility run by Houthi militias within the central prison in Hudaydah province. The Hunaysh detention facility has reportedly been used to illegally hold 70 female abductees without rights or access to counsel since January 2017.

Houthis and Saleh clash in San'a

Violent confrontations between the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces started on Saturday after the two sides exchanged accusations of treachery in televised speeches last week. Abd al-Malik al-Houthi said that former president Saleh had to bear the consequences of calling Ansar Allah a “militia,” and that the Houthis considered the GPC party’s call for a mass demonstration in the capital an internal threat. Meanwhile, pro-Saleh media accused the Houthis of blocking the arrival of supporters to the rally by establishing security barriers and checkpoints in Raymah and Hudaydah provinces.

Houthis responsible for arbitrary arrests, torture, murder

In its press release dated June 24, Mwatana Organization for Human Rights reported on gross violations of human rights committed by the Houthi movement--also known as Ansar Allah--in detention centers under their control. The report investigated approximately 30 cases of torture taking place in private detention centers and interrogation rooms where Houthis have reportedly adopted torture as a tool for interrogating detainees and denied access to medical care.  

Analysis: the causes of the Saudi-Qatari rift

The recent diplomatic crisis between several Arab states, headed by Saudi Arabia, and Qatar has caused ripples across the region and the world. Yemen, the site of military interventions by both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has been particularly affected as Qatari troops withdraw from the country and certain Salafi elements protest Saudi tactics. Gabriele vom Bruck, senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, penned an analysis in Le Monde Diplomatique about the Saudi-Qatari rift, entitled “Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia as anti-hero?” highlighting the significance of the spat for Yemen.

Prison diary: The 64th Day

We're pleased to publish this guest post by Dr. Abdulkader Alguneid, a physician and activist from Ta'iz. Dr. Abdulkader was kidnapped from his home by Houthi fighters in August 2015; he was released after 300 days of illegal imprisonment and torture in May 2016.

It was mid-day, and I was in a tight, dim cell with two companions.

The clanging sound of the iron door being unlocked came suddenly and loudly, startling and unnerving us. These doors never opened, day after day and month after month, except for the most unusual, or for taking an inmate out for interrogation or something unpleasant.

Fractures in the Houthi-GPC alliance

We're very pleased to publish the second of two guest posts on the tensions within the Houthi-GPC alliance. The views of the author do not necessarily represent those of the YPP.

Yemen is in the midst of the third year of its civil war. Starvation and disease are rampant in the poorest country in the Middle East; there is still no light on the horizon. In seeking to understand this war, we cannot find satisfying and logical answers without first asking the right questions. Hence, this piece will be humbly dedicated for laying bare some personal thoughts, as an ordinary citizen in this perplexing war-torn country, and specifically in San’a. 

The dynamics of the Houthi-GPC alliance

We're very pleased to publish the first of two guest posts on the tensions within the Houthi-GPC alliance. The author is an activist based in San'a, who writes anonymously for personal and professional reasons. The views of the author do not necessarily represent those of the YPP.

The intensifying conflict in Yemen has created a complex political situation with overlapping factors imposed by the nature and structure of the conflicting forces within Yemen. We believe that this political situation can only be understood by analyzing the contexts in which these events and reality were born, as well as the reasons behind them. This article presents a perspective on the political situation in Yemen and the role of the conflicting parties within Yemen, particularly in areas under the control of the Houthis.

December 26-January 1: Disagreement over proposed UN peace deal continues into 2017

Monday, December 26 Al Jazeera’s closed bureau in San’a was raided by Houthi forces hours after the network aired a program about the group’s looting of heavy arms. Saeed Thabit, head of Al Jazeera's Yemen office, said in a statement on Facebook that the Houthis stole what was left of office equipment and furniture.

December 5-11: US calls for Hadi government to accept peace deal, Oxfam warns of increasing food crisis

Monday, December 5: Yemeni officials say that al-Qaeda has blown up Yemen’s only gas export line, which was located in Shabwa province and delivered gas from Marib to a port on the Arabian Sea.

November 28-December 4: Houthi formation of government elicits criticism, UN envoy struggles to restart talks

Monday, November 28: A Houthi political council announced that it has unilaterally formed a new government, a surprise and unwelcome move that will stifle the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen who has been working towards creating a unity government.