A UAE-funded project to improve water production capacity in Yemen was launched on Sunday in Yemen’s port city of al-Mokha. The new project by the Emirati Red Crescent in Yemen consists of two artesian wells connected to a generator and two storage tanks, and will be connected to the main water distribution network. The project is projected to allow water to be provided on a 24-hour basis.
Monday, June 17
World Food Program (WFP) chief David Beasley warned on Monday that a phased-suspension of food assistance in Yemen was likely to begin later this week over a diversion of aid and lack of independence in Houthi-controlled areas. The Houthis have been accused of diverting food and water aid supplies. Beasley called on the Houthis to “simply let us do our job” and immediately implement registration and monitoring agreements.
Commander of the Yemeni 4th Brigade, Mehran Al-Qubati, accused the United Arab Emirates of planning an “imminent coup” in Aden against President Hadi.
Al-Masirah, a Houthi propaganda agency, reported that Houthi drones targeted Saudi drone facilities at Jizan International Airport, which al-Masirah claims has been converted into a military airbase. Saudi Arabian air defense forces intercepted two of the Houthi aircraft.
Monday, June 10 A woman and her three daughters were injured when a Houthi shell struck their home in northern Ta’iz today, al-Masdar Online reports.
The Houthis have agreed to unilaterally remove their forces from the ports of al-Hudaydah, Salif, and Ras Isa between May 11 and May 14. Many observers are sceptical of the promise, given the Houthis’ previous failures to follow through on this aspect of the Stockholm Agreements.
The UN is assessing possible damage to grain stored in the Red Sea Mills facility in Hudaydah following gunfire on Thursday. The National reports that the Houthis attacked the mills causing damage to one of the silos and the wheat stored in it.
Saturday, May 11
A Yemeni government minister has said that the Houthis’ handover of the three main ports in Hudaydah is a “show” meant to “disinform the international community.” Last year the Houthis staged a similar withdrawal of the port of Hudaydah, before it was discovered that the Coast Guard forces the Houthis had handed the port to were, in fact, also Houthi fighters. Journalist Baseem al-Jenani notes that this marks the third time in six months that the Houthis have announced their withdrawal from Hudaydah in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement
The Security Council has approved 75 observers to join the monitoring mission in Hudaydah as part of the Stockholm agreement. However, there are currently only 15 observers in Hudaydah while the others are waiting on visas. The observers were intended to monitor the implementation of the deal and assess conditions on the ground, tasks the mission cannot carry out without adequate staffing.
A roadside bomb believed to have been planted by al-Qaeda killed six civilians in al-Qatn village in Hadhramawt. This is the second attack in less than a week by al-Qaeda in the village. AQAP is active in several provinces in south and eastern Yemen.
Emirati officials say that the UAE is planning to diversify their distribution of aid in order to further their reach. The UAE will continue to use organisations outside of the UN-coordinated humanitarian response in providing aid. The UAE identifies food programmes and cholera prevention as top priorities. UN agencies and NGOs have criticized the UAE and Saudi Arabia throughout the conflict for refusing to pay into the UN’s pooled fund for Yemen, and for politicizing their humanitarian projects.
Saturday, May 4
Arab News reports that Saudi Arabia has launched new border security patrols in Saudi Arabia’s Najran Province, which borders Yemen’s al-Jawf and Sa’dah Governorates. US special forces soldiers are known to be assisting with border security; if US troops are involved in joint patrols, there will be an increase in the likelihood of direct US-Houthi clashes, which could escalate the conflict significantly.
After several days of conflict with local security forces, the Abu al-Abbas Brigades have agreed to leave the old city of Ta’iz based on an agreement with the city’s “truce committee,” reports al-Masdar Online.
Beginning in Aden and Lahj governorates last Sunday, Yemeni authorities are rounding up irregular migrants in Southern Yemen. The UN migration agency is saying these actions are, “creating an acute humanitarian situation.” The International Organization for Migration is concerned about the conditions in which the migrants, who are predominantly Ethiopian, are being held.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt hosted the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, in London, where the two discussed their bilateral partnership. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths also met with Hunt, Sheikh Abdullah, and figures from Saudi Arabia and the US to discuss the next steps in the UN-brokered peace plan.
Saturday, April 27
Mareb Press reports heavy exchanges of artillery fire between the Hadi government and Houthi militias in Hudaydah.
Al-Masdar Online reports that a new pro-Hadi assembly, the Southern National Coalition, has been established in Aden. As scholar Sam Ramani points out, the body is intended to rival the Southern Transitional Council, but will likely struggle to gain significant support due to Hadi’s unpopularity in the area.
Arab News reports that clashes in al-Dhali’ province allegedly resulted in 70 Houthi casualties. Coalition casualties were not reported.
Six Yemeni demining experts died in Ta’iz following an explosion at a warehouse that contained unexploded landmines.
For the first time since the war began, Yemen’s parliament held a session with a quorum of members participating; President Hadi was in attendance. The purpose of this session was to fill parliamentary positions and focus on ways to combat the Houthis. However, this is difficult as elections have not been held since 2009, and many pre-war parliamentarians remain in San’a, where the Houthi administration also claims the support of the legislature. It is unlikely that this parliament will make any significant contribution to the peace process.
Sunday, April 14
The Washington Post is reporting that the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are in a deadly contest for territory, recruits, and influence in Yemen. Clashes are occurring and fighting has escalated in central Baydha province between Yemeni tribal forces that are aligned with the two groups. Elisabeth Kendall, a Yemen expert at Oxford University, states that the feud is “linked to local territorial and power rivalries.”
Monday, April 15
It is reported that French weapons “may have been used to commit war crimes” in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition. France has previously said that French-made weapons were only used defensively, but they have not responded to these specific allegations yet. Moreover, Amnesty International is urging France to immediately suspend all arms transfers to Yemen.
The Saudi ambassador to the UN is calling on the UN Security Council to “disarm” Houthi militias, citing the Houthis’ stockpile of missiles and drones, and the incident last week in which two Houthi drones were intercepted over the kingdom.
Saturday, April 6
Al Jazeera reports on the cholera epidemic that has made a resurgence and has killed at least 300 people since the beginning of the outbreak. Last month more 76,000 suspected cases were registered. The UN believes this outbreak could be as bad as the one in 2017 that killed more than 3,000 people. Treatment is limited and prices of medication are high. Cholera is spread primarily through polluted food and water, and the conflict only exacerbates the problem. The feature states that it is likely the disease will be contained only when the war ends and reconstruction begins.
Southern news outlet Aden al-Ghad reports clashes between Houthi militias and the pro-government Giants Brigade outside the city of Ta’iz.
Houthi shelling in al-Tuhayta directorate of Hudaydah province killed seven and wounded seventeen people, reports Aden al-Ghad.
In an interview with The Guardian, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi criticized UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt for pressuring Germany to end its ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying that the UK can not be a peace-broker and an arms seller. German parties have reached a compromise that will extend the ban for another six months, while allowing German firms to fulfill existing contracts with other European arms makers.
Aden al-Ghad reports that a Southern Yemeni women’s group, Southern Women for Southern Independence, sent a letter to the UN. The letter expressed the group’s objections to not having been included in the recent Yemeni Women’s Conference entitled “Mediators for Peace,” organized by UN Women in Amman, Jordan.
Saturday, March 30
SPA reports that government forces “besieged” areas in southeast Ta’iz, and “liberated” areas in al-Aqrud from the Houthis.
Sunday, March 31
In a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash rejects a report by the Group of Eminent experts on Yemen and instead believes that the Human Rights Council should refocus efforts on supporting Yemen’s government. The UAE is responsible for the abduction, torture, and murder of Yemeni civilians in their network of extralegal prisons in the south, as well as for war crimes associated with the coalition’s air campaign.
The warring parties in Yemen have arbitrarily and illegally detained or disappeared thousands of civilians. The government and the Houthis agreed in principle to a prisoner swap last year in Stockholm, but the process has been stalled. In a feature by Al Jazeera, family members of detainees are calling for the prisoner swaps to finally materialize.
In regard to Germany’s arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked that Germany risked being seen as “an unreliable defense partner” if the embargo is extended. France and Britain, who continue arms sales to Saudi Arabia, rely on German parts and are also being affected by the embargo.
A report found that in areas of conflict, diarrhea and other diseases related to poor sanitation caused more deaths than violence from the conflict itself. Access to clean water sources has become increasingly rare throughout Yemen, and specifically in active conflict zones, where warring parties frequently destroy or restrict access to supplies.
Saturday, March 23
The Saudi-led coalition launched attacks on Houthi camps in San’a. The raids were intended to target the rebels’ stockpile of drones.
Sunday, March 24
Protesters gathered at the UN headquarters in Geneva to bring attention to conflict between the Houthis and civilians in Hajjah. The protesters urged the international community to put more pressure on the Houthis.
Monday, March 25
Overnight clashes in Hudaydah were the heaviest the port city has seen since the beginning of the local ceasefire. This comes as the UN observer team chief was expected to convene both sides in order to launch newly agreed-upon steps towards disengagement.
The Saudi-led coalition and the UN have signed an agreement to reinforce the protection of children in Yemen. The agreement will focus on preventive action and services for child survivors. Moreover, there will be a commitment by the coalition to improve protections of children.
There is a sharp increase in the number of suspected cholera cases, which are likely due to early rains. Moreover, deteriorating conditions, poor maintenance of sewage disposal, and the use of contaminated water are exacerbating the problem. The recent spike is concentrated in six provinces, including Hudaydah and San’a.
In a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, opposition leaders from the Labour Party, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, and the Green Party challenged the UK’s arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition. The joint letter states that the government is profiting off of the conflict through their arms sales.
SPA reports that Yemen’s economy lost close to $50 billion over the course of the war. In the last five years, growth was negative in all sectors and economic activity declined. Losses do not include the destruction of infrastructure.
In southern Yemen, Al-Khaleej Online reports that al-Rayyan International Airport in Mukalla, Hadhramawt has not reopened due to the UAE’s desire to maintain a military headquarters within it. The UAE are accused of exploiting the airport and using it as a secret prison. The airport remained closed after al-Qaeda militants were expelled from the area.
The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over the island of Socotra is back in the news. Socotra is of strategic importance because it is located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which is an important shipping lane. Critics of the UAE saw their previous involvement on the island as an attempt to occupy it.
Clashes were reported today by al-Masdar Online between AQAP and IS in the Yakla area of al-Baydha province. According to the article, AQAP members supported by local tribesmen seized weapons, military equipment and funds from IS and freed thirty soldiers loyal to the Hadi government during the fighting.
According to al-Masdar Online, the Abu al-Abbas brigades in Ta’iz, which have ties to AQAP and receive funding and equipment from the UAE, closed a number of streets in the Old City today. The militia has been fighting rival fighting groups, including those affiliated with the Islah Party, since helping to liberate parts of the city from the Houthis. The governor of Ta’iz recently announced his intention to disarm unaccountable militias, which has exacerbated local fighting.
Tuesday, March 26
Twenty detainees held without charges in Mukalla, Hadhramawt Governorate were acquitted and released without trials after protests by the detainees’ families.
Ghalib Sultan, Ta’iz’s Islah party leader, was photographed with Yahya al-Houthi at a Houthi rally in San’a.
Houthi media reports pro-Houthi demonstrations in Ta’iz and Sa’dah today, on the anniversary of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. Today is the fourth anniversary of Saudi-led intervention in the war.
Al-Masdar Online reports that Houthi forces are indiscriminately shelling civilian areas in the district of Qarishiyah, al-Baydha province.
Wednesday, March 27
The UAE is supporting local forces to counter al-Qaeda militants in Shabwah province, as part of a campaign called “White Mountains.”
A hospital supported by Save the Children in northern Yemen was hit in an airstrike. The strike, which was carried out by the Saudi-led coalition, killed at least seven people, five of which were children.
The Labour Party wants clarification on the UK’s role in Yemen following a report that British special forces soldiers were involved on the ground.
Al Jazeera reports that the majority of Yemenis can not afford healthcare, and even when money is available there are not enough supplies. The war has destroyed half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics. This has contributed to many Yemenis dying in their homes without treatment.
Thursday, March 28
A spokesman for the US State Department is calling for a transparent investigation into the airstrike that killed seven people including four children at a hospital in a rural area about sixty miles from Sa’dah.
The UN special envoy to Yemen believes that withdrawal from Hudaydah will occur, it will just be a slow process. Martin Griffiths stated that the number of casualties in the port has decreased by fifty percent since the ceasefire came into effect. Civilian casualties elsewhere in Yemen have increased.
People are protesting for a fourth day in Aden after Raafat Danbaa, who allegedly witnessed the rape of a seven-year-old boy by UAE-backed fighters, was found dead. The Yemeni government has set up a committee to investigate his death. The UAE has faced numerous accusations of various human rights abuses since taking control of southern Yemen.
In the al-Durayhimi area of Hudaydah, fighting broke out between Houthi and coalition forces. A coalition officer reported that the Houthis prompted the attack and that this was the second attack in 24 hours. Sporadic fighting has taken place since the Stockholm agreement, preventing the successful withdrawal of forces from Hudaydah.
Saudi Arabia shot down a drone that was flying over the kingdom. The Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthis of launching the drone and using it to target civilians.
Sunday, March 10
UNICEF says it has started paying over 136,000 teachers and school staff in Yemen. UNICEF believes an estimated 3.7 million children will benefit from this as 2 million out of 7 million school-aged children are already out of school because of the conflict and economic crisis.
Monday, March 11
Pro-Hadi news source Yemen Now tweeted on the Hadi government’s displeasure with the UN’s perceived silence concerning Houthi attacks on civilians in Hajjah province.
The Women’s Solidarity Network posted a statement on their Facebook page calling for humanitarian action in response to the intensification of conflict in the areas of Yemen not covered by the Stockholm agreements, such as the Kushar district of Hajjah.
There have been over 5,000 cases of child recruitment since the beginning of the conflict, according to a non-government source. The article also states that around 4 million children have been prevented from receiving an education due to the destruction of schools and infrastructure during the conflict.
Al-Masdar Online discusses water access issues in the city of Ta’iz. This article, citing a report from Al Jazeera, states that Houthi forces control the city’s main source of water east of Ta’iz and have been restricting access to water as part of a siege on the city. Meanwhile, qat farmers to the west of Ta’iz require large amounts of water for their fields and use a significant portion of the available water resources, leaving little for the city’s residents.
Aden al-Ghad reports that all communication systems in the Hajur tribal area have been cut off by the Houthis. This action was followed by two days of large-scale destruction of civilian homes in the area, according to journalist Faisal al-Shababi.
Tuesday, March 12
A prominent Yemeni Baha’i leader, Hamed bin Haydara, was sentenced to death in a Houthi court for espionage and apostasy charges. The international community is concerned that the Houthis are purposely targeting the religious minority group. Over 100 Baha’is are being held on false charges.
Twelve children and ten women were killed following Saudi-led airstrikes in Hajjah Governorate, while thirty people were injured. The strikes were intended to target Houthi forces attacking tribal fighters and civilians in the area.
A UN humanitarian agency has stated that Hajjah province has become another flashpoint in the country’s civil war. The district of Kushar in Hajjah province is only 31 miles from the Saudi border. The ongoing fighting has trapped civilians between the warring parties and the number of displaced people has doubled in the past six months.
The UN Security Council is urging Yemen’s warring parties to implement the peace deal in Hudaydah. The five permanent members released a statement saying they were “extremely concerned” that the agreement in Stockholm had not been implemented.
Al-Masdar Online reports that clashes erupted Sunday evening between tribal gunmen and Saudi forces in al-Mahrah province. Tribal elements in the area reportedly oppose the Saudi military presence in the province.
Baseem al-Jenani reports on continued shelling by the Houthis in Hudaydah, which continue to hinder the progress of Stockholm agreement implementations.
Aden 24 reports that Saudi-funded mine removal teams removed over 2,000 mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance in the first week of March.
Wednesday, March 13
The Senate passed S.J.Res.7, a war powers measure to end US military participation in the war in Yemen. The measure will now go to the House, where a similar piece of legislation passed last month. President Trump has promised to veto S.J.Res.7 if it passes the House as expected.
The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of committing “acts of genocide” against civilians in Hajjah province. Yemen’s information minister states that the Houthis are using heavy weaponry, including ballistic missiles, to target civilian homes. The fighting has persisted for more than a month and thousands of civilians are unable to flee and lack access to basic necessities.
Amnesty International reports that several children have been sexually abused in the city of Ta'iz over the past eight months. Some of these crimes were committed by members of a coalition-backed, pro-Islah militia. The report calls on the Yemeni government to investigate these crimes and to protect the children and their families from militia retaliation.
Thursday, March 14
TeleYemen, Yemen’s largest telecommunications company, has relocated to Aden and is back under the government’s control. TeleYemen was previously headquartered in San’a, which gave the Houthis exclusive rights to provide international communications access. According to the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information, private telecommunications companies operating out of San’a are indirectly financing the Houthis’ war efforts through taxes. Between 2014 and 2017 the Houthis received $2 billion from telecommunication companies. The ministry is taking action to combat this.
Al-Masdar Online discusses the disconnect between the Central Bank of Yemen recognized by the international community, located in government-controlled Aden, and the San’a-based Central Bank that has fallen under Houthi control since their takeover of the city. While the official headquarters of the Central Bank was moved to Aden by the Hadi government in 2016, the San’a-based banking system now controlled by the Houthis continues to function, controlling currency exchange points and ATMs, often under policies which conflict with those instituted by the government in Aden. The article illuminates how this discrepancy contributes to the instability of the Yemeni financial system.
An article from al-Masdar Online discusses a protest today by the Mothers of Abductees Association in Ibb province. The protest was held to draw attention to the practice of blackmailing abductees’ families by Houthi militias in the area.