The story. Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia announced a cease-fire in the war in Yemen (2015-today), which could pave the way toward ending the five-year conflict. The war in Yemen explained for dummies:
The beginning of the war: the Arab Spring
In 2011, people in Arab countries carried out massive demonstrations against their dictators (this is called the Arab Spring). As a result, in Yemen, the dictator Ali Abdullah is forced to hand over the power to Hadi (a democratic leader).
Hadi struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including attacks by jihadists, corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.
So? Yemen for dummies.
In 2014, the Houthis – an Islamic religious-armed group- took advantage of the new president’s weakness and took control of most of the northern part of Yemen. Disillusioned with the transition, many ordinary Yemenis supported the Houthis.
What do the Houthis want?
In 2003, the Houthis’ slogan “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam”, became the group’s trademark.
Saudi Arabia (+8 other Arab states), the US, the UK and France began bombing Yemen to restore Hadi’s government.
These countries support Hadi and want him back. The US and Saudi Arabia are friends and seek stability in the Middle East. Also, Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supporting the Houthis, and Iran and Saudi hate each other (both countries want to take control of the Middle East).
The outcome of the war.
8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 80% of the people need humanitarian assistance.
Why should the war in Yemen matter for the rest of the world?
What happens in Yemen can greatly exacerbate regional tensions. It also worries the West because of the threat of attacks – such as from al-Qaeda or IS affiliates – emanating from the country as it becomes more unstable.
The conflict is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The war in Yemen for dummies Cease-fire in the war in Yemen.
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