United Nations

January 19-25: Houthi landmines claim multiple victims, warring parties at standstill in Hudaydah

Saturday, January 19

According to AP, UN experts have found that fuel shipped illegally from Iran is being used by the Houthis to finance their operations.

ReliefWeb published a November 2018 Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) analysis of the Shara’b al-Salam district of Ta’iz province today. The analysis concludes that 20% of internally displaced persons and 31% of host community households in the district had not been able to meet their water needs in the month prior to the assessment. Furthermore, 76% of IDPs and 70% of host community households in the district reported that leaving garbage in public spaces where it was left uncollected was the most common method of disposal.

Al-Masdar Online reports that two of Ta’iz city’s most wanted individuals were killed today by the Abu al-Abbas Brigades, an armed group with ties to AQAP and the UAE that controls parts of Ta’iz.

Al-Masdar Online tweeted a video in which the mother of activist Zakariya al-Qasim demands to know the fate of her son, who has been imprisoned by UAE forces for approximately one year.

January 12-18: UN Official Fired upon in Hudaydah, Conflict Parties meet in Jordan

Saturday, January 12

According to government sources, 37 civilians were killed and 312 injured by Houthi violations of the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement since it was put in place on December 18. The government is calling on Martin Griffiths to pressure the Houthis into complying with the ceasefire.

Reporter Baseem al-Jenani, meanwhile, tweeted that medical sources say 27 civilians were killed or injured in the city of Hudaydah by Houthi vehicles.

Sunday, January 13

The Guardian reports that the Houthis have threatened to continue drone strikes after the attack on a military base in Lahij province last week.

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 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.

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 25-July 1: Hadi pressures Houthis, coalition halts attack on Hudaydah

6/25

Yemeni officials report that coalition airstrikes have killed a family of eight in Amran, north of San’a. An additional twenty were injured in the attacks.

Coalition forces are moving closer to the Hudaydah city center, as fierce fighting has broken out out near Hudaydah University.

The Al Jazeera Listening Post dissects how the US and the UK media are misrepresenting the war in Yemen as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, rather than a conflict that the two countries are deeply involved in.

YPP Endorses Open Letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The Yemen Peace Project is proud to endorse a letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres requesting greater scrutiny on the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s violations of the rights of children in armed conflict. The YPP was one of 24 organizations to ask that Secretary-General Guterres recognise the insufficiency of coalition measures to protect children, and to place the coalition within Section A of Annex 1 of the forthcoming 2018 Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. This move would explicitly identify the coalition as a party that has not taken measures to protect children.

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.

UN Panel of Experts' Report Describes a Fragmented Conflict, with Humanitarian Law Violations on All Sides

On January 26, the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen released its annual report on the conflict in Yemen. The report described several of the most significant events of the war in 2017, including the Houthis’ missile launch that landed near an airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the dissolution of the Houthi-Saleh alliance in December, and the Houthis’ consolidation of control in northern Yemen.

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.”  

UN Special Envoy Statement to the Security Council

On October 10, 2017, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen briefed the Security Council on the ongoing War in Yemen. The envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, reported that intense fighting continues on all major fronts including Ta‘iz, Marib, al-Jawf, al-Baydha, Hajjah and Sa‘dah governorates, and the Saudi-Yemen border areas. Civilian casualties also continue to mount due to a disregard for international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. On August 25, 2017, an airstrike in San‘a killed fourteen civilians while injuring an additional sixteen. Shelling of residential areas by Houthi-Saleh forces also continues. The envoy reported civilian deaths, including eight children, in Ta‘iz from rocket fire.

UN humanitarian coordinator briefs congressional staff

On Thursday the Congressional Progressive Caucus hosted a briefing for staff members by Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for the Republic of Yemen. The briefing was facilitated by the YPP's director for policy and advocacy Kate Kizer. In the briefing, Mr. McGoldrick spoke about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, and what the US and other foreign powers can do to address what has become the world's largest humanitarian disaster. Below is an audio recording of the full briefing.

September 19 - 25: UN calls for greater international assistance

Al Jazeera reports that the UK has made over $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with the government receiving about $40 million in corporate taxes as a result - only a small portion of the profit, most of which is taken by private arms corporations.

September 5-12: UN Urges Independent Inquiry

9/5

In a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister, UK Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized the importance of ending the Yemen conflict and complying with international humanitarian law. Activists have called the UK government complicit in the Saudi-led coalition’s alleged crimes in Yemen.

August 28-September 5: Floods Increase Rate of Cholera; NGOs Urge Independent International Inquiry in Yemen

8/28

Saudi Arabia campaigned at the United Nations in an attempt to emphasize its humanitarian role in Yemen, stating that the country has donated over $8 billion to assist Yemen. Saudi Arabia is concerned about the UN child rights blacklist and a possible UN human rights inquiry into crimes in Yemen.

UN Special Envoy releases details of plan for al-Hudaydah

Last week, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced the details of a plan to effectively remove the governorate of al-Hudaydah from the Yemeni civil war. The plan does far more than propose a ceasefire for the vital port city; it also includes the payment of salaries to civil servants, and spells out the role of the international community. If implemented, the “al-Hudaydah Plan” could serve as a model for a nation-wide peace agreement. The Government of President Hadi and the Government of Egypt have reportedly announced their support for the plan, it is not yet clear whether any of the other warring parties will agree to the plan. Below is the YPP’s English translation of the plan, as presented by the UN Special Envoy to the Arab League.

April 25-May 1: $1.2 billion raised by UN for humanitarian efforts, international community warns against Hudaydah offensive

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UNICEF published a press release today urging the international community to donate to UN efforts to combat the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The UN held a pledging drive today in Geneva to raise funding for humanitarian aid in the country. The drive raised a total of $1.1 billion, approximately half of the UN’s 2017 emergency response budget. The United States announced that it would provide an additional $94 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

The United Nations, joined now by Russia as well, continues to warn the Saudi-led coalition against attacking the Port of Hudaydah. Amnesty International also released an article emphasizing the risk to civilian lives that such an offensive would carry. The UNHCR says that it is preparing for the potential displacement of an additional half a million people if the fighting in Hudaydah intensifies.

April 11-16: WFP ramps up food aid to Yemen, Congress skeptical of supporting Saudi campaign

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The UN said today that the risk of mass starvation is quickly growing in Yemen, as well as in South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.

Norwegian Refugee Council’s press release today calls Yemen an “extreme situation for women,” emphasizing the importance of focusing on women’s issues and rights as women have been increasingly politically marginalized since the start of the war.

April 4-10: Government forces position around Hudaydah, UN calls for protection of Port

Tuesday, April 4

Pro-Hadi forces in Yemen are gathering around the Port of Hudaydah and a senior military official reports that “only the timing remains to be decided” of an impending military operation in the area. It is possible that the Saudi-led coalition is waiting for approval from its Western allies before launching the offensive, according to Reuters. The International Rescue Committee, meanwhile, said that an attack on the port would have catastrophic effects on the Yemeni people.  

Meanwhile, CNN reports that US special operations forces have increased ground operations in Yemen in addition to the recent campaign of airstrikes in the country. The ground operations, which have not been publicly acknowledged by the Pentagon, are specifically aimed at covert intelligence gathering on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to CNN.

March 27-April 3: US considers expanded military role in Middle East, UN special envoy calls for political solution in Yemen

Monday, March 27, 2017

The US is in the process of weighing a greater military role in Yemen through direct support for the Saudi-led coalition, Reuters says. This appears to be a response to evidence of greater Iranian military support for the Houthi-Saleh alliance.

At least 11 people were killed in a suicide bombing in al-Houta, Lahj province, according to Reuters. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by al-Qaeda militants.

Reuters also reports that rates of child marriage have significantly increased since the beginning of the war in Yemen, according to UNICEF. Over two thirds of Yemeni girls are now married before the age of 18, as opposed to half of girls before the conflict. This large increase is primarily due to families’ inability to feed their children as famine looms closer in the country.