International actors remain silent on the escalating violence between Saudi and Iranian proxies in Yemen, while Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman hides behind the reforms that the country has undergone recently.
Civil uprisings that turned the Arab World upside down pushed Yemen into a long-lasting conflict. Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh became the fourth leader to step down from office during the Arab Spring in 2011 after 33 years of authoritarian rule. Saleh’s deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi became the new president promising democracy with a new constitution and fair elections. However, the transformation process not only failed to heal societal fault lines but alsoturned Yemen into a battle zone of regional adversaries; Iran and Saudi Arabia.President Hadi’s transitional government failed to make the necessary reforms.
The opposition was also deeply fractured among Islamists, socialists, tribal alliances, Houthis and the southern independence groups. Endless negotiations among the opposition itself and the government made little progress to form a consensus for the future of the country. Nearly four years later the revolution Arab world’s poorest country entered a civil war. Unfortunately, the Yemeni people’s attempt to bring democracy to their country drifted the country in the opposite direction. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s presence in the country, the Houthi uprising, fragmentation in bureaucracy and armed forces between Saleh’s and Hadi’s supporters drifted Yemen into a continuing quagmire.
The Houthis are a theological movement that has found support in the northwestern regions of Yemen alongside the Saudi Arabian border. The group, whom are of the Shiite sect of Islam, has been getting support from regions with sole Shiite power such as Iran. For the Sunni central administration of Yemen, they have always been an issue. Between 2004 and 2010 they got into a low-profile conflict. Although the sides reached an agreement in 2010, it was halted when the Houthis showed support for the street protests that led to President Saleh’s resignation.Access Full Article