The ongoing conflict in Saada exposes the divides in Yemeni politics, which are likely to obstruct the National Dialogue Conference and country’s political transition.
Tensions between Salafis and disenfranchised Houthis along the Saudi-Yemeni border escalate amid fears of insurgency.
Yemen’s National Dialogue continues to be undermined by separatist movements, yet it has no alternative but to succeed. If not, war is sure to follow.
Halfway into its mandate, can the National Dialogue Conference solve Yemen’s extensive problems?
Yemen’s complex insecurity will make National Dialogue talks difficult.
Southern secessionist movements may prove a serious obstacle to the upcoming national dialogue.
Ousting the port of Aden’s old management might signal that Yemen’s north-south tensions are easing.
The Houthi conflict in Yemen has taken a turn for the worst since the uprisings.
Encouraging the dissolution of the state is not the way to solve Yemen’s problems.
Brian O'Neill recommends that the U.S. shift its focus away from Sanaa and be ready to work with the real powerbrokers—even if they are outside its comfort zone.
Though the youth sparked and mobilized Yemen’s revolution, their lack of unity and organization led to their marginalization by more experienced political actors who rode the wave of popular protest to reach positions of power.
Yemeni democracy is on hold in light of internal divisions and threats to stability.
Yemen faces an escalating threat from rebellions in both the north and south of the country, as well as from al-Qaeda, calling into question whether a unified state has ever really taken root.
Southern unrest is a symptom of the weakening patronage system forced by declining oil production.
A government-opposition agreement to postpone parliamentary elections paves the way for a broader debate on political reform.
The principal opposition coalition is threatening to boycott April parliamentary elections.
The Republic of Yemen looks relatively democratic compared to its neighbors. While Saudi Arabia is now holding local elections and smaller Gulf states have taken modest steps towards increased political participation in recent years, until now only the Kuwaiti parliament (the only such assembly in the world elected by a small male electorate) has been a force to be reckoned with.
Islah, Yemen's Islamist party, had its poorest showing yet in elections for the lower house of parliament on April 27, 2003. Islah won just 46 of 301 seats, down from 56 in 1997 and 63 in 1993. Islah gained nine new seats in the capital, Sanaa, but lost in several traditional strongholds. The ruling General People's Congress (GPC) party gained a more-than-comfortable 75 percent majority.
In January, Yemen hosted a high-profile conference on democracy, human rights and the role of the international criminal court, attended by more than 800 officials from 52 countries. Conference participants signed the ambitious "Sanaa Declaration," committing their respective countries to uphold democratic processes, institutions and values.
There is a traditional saying that to rule Yemen is like riding a lion, and President Ali Abdullah Saleh is no stranger to the demands of political survival. His twenty-seven years in power have refined his skills as a master of compromise among the disparate interests of tribal groups, Islamists, socialists, Saudi Arabia, and the West.