After a failed attempt at democratization that transitioned into a devastating civil war, Yemen is perhaps at the brink of collapse and its biggest humanitarian crises yet.

With civil unrest from both factions that claim to constitute the Yemeni government, Yemen’s civil war continues to ravage the nation as displacement, food insecurity and internal tensions rise.

“Yemen is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, and at this current period and looking forward all signs are pointing to it getting worse,” says Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.

Starvation and poverty are now dominating the country as its poorest inhabitants rummage through rubbish for food.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and more than 42,000 injured since March 2015, the start of the civil war, according to the World Health Organization.

A cholera outbreak has worsened the health of Yemen’s civilians.  Since April, authorities have discovered more than 200,000 cases of the disease.  With sporadic electricity for the past two years and lack of basic health services, cholera has taken the lives of 1,500 Yemeni civilians – many of them women and children.

“Two years in we are looking at a situation where the most likely scenario is that two years from now we will be looking at continued conflict in Yemen,” Baron was quoted by the international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle as saying.

The conflict originated from the failure of a political transition that was intended to stabilize Yemen following an uprising that forced its authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand power to Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, his deputy.

Yemen’s civil war has been fueled by two factions: the resistance against Hadi, also known as the Houthi or the Shia-led religious-political rebel group, and the Hadi government-supporting allies.

The civil war has perpetuated the notion of institutional incompetency and drawn Saudi intervention and Jihadist militants from al-Qaeda.

On top of widespread famine and disease, the Saudi-led coalition for intervention in Yemen has contributed to the growing humanitarian crisis.

Jihadist militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as well as its rival affiliates of the Islamic State have exploited the opportunity to seize southern territory and attack Aden, the capital of the provisional Yemeni government.

Nearly 2 million people have been displaced, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, a British based NGO, and there is little likelihood that they will return to their home country anytime soon.

(Written by Jenifer Hanki; Sept. 25, 2018)

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