Yemen has descended into a full–fledged military conflict since the end of March 2015. Armed Houthis, supported by Saleh forces, entered Sana’a in September 2014 and gradually took over government institutions during the first quarter of 2015. Shortly after, the Hadi Government left the country.
Following subsequent Houthi’s move towards the southern part of Yemen, on March 26, 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of 10 Arab countries initiated a military campaign to restore President Hadi’s government to power. The government returned to Aden only in November 2015. Although pro-Hadi forces have made military gains recently with backing of the Arab coalition, the conflict continues unabated. Several peace mediations led by the United Nations in 2015 did not secure a ceasefire agreement.
However, a ceasefire on the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border in March 2016 was a positive sign toward the conflict resolution. In addition, the State of Kuwait has expressed readiness to host the next round of UN facilitated peace talks. Apart from the conflict between the Hadi Government and the Houthis/Saleh forces and its international dimensions, the conflict realm is further complicated by the resurgence of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and other radical Islamist groups, including ISIS, particularly in the south and the east of the country.
The conflict has exacerbated already challenging economic conditions and a poor humanitarian situation. Official reporting suggests that Yemen’s GDP contracted in 2015 by approximately 28 percent. The escalating conflict since March 2015 has led to widespread disruptions of economic activities and infrastructure destruction.
Since the second quarter of 2015, oil and gas exports have come to a halt. Imports have also contracted, except for critical food and energy imports. The escalated conflict has also resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian emergency; increasing the toll of civilian deaths and causalities across the country, displacing a large number of people, and severely destroying civilian and public infrastructure. The civilian death toll is estimated to have reached more than 6000, with about 35,000 wounded. As of the end of 2015, 2.5 million people were estimated to be internally displaced in Yemen.
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2016