Why American Foreign Policy Keeps Failing in Yemen

During Arab Spring, Yemen appeared to be a rare success story.

By Dr. Leif Rosenberger (Chief Economist, ACERTAS)

In contrast to the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Egypt, Arab Spring inspired the people in Yemen to organize a national dialogue and win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Those days are long gone. A vicious civil war has been raging since 2014 and has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. One million people in Yemen have been infected with cholera, the largest documented cholera epidemic in history. And another 8 million more people are on the brink of famine.

Instead of trying to broker peace talks and foster shared prosperity, a militarized American foreign policy under Obama and Trump are responsible for huge arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which in turn have intensified and prolonged the fighting in Yemen for the past four years. Things have gotten so bad that US Senator Chris Murphy has accused America of complicity in war crimes in Yemen. [i]

President Saleh’s Presidency

What went wrong? A good place to start is with Ali Abdullah Saleh’s presidency. [ii]When Saleh assumed power in Yemen in 1978, Yemen’s new president had a strategic choice. He could start the slow but steady process of responsible nation building, a task Washington wanted no part of back then or now. Or Saleh could form a network of cronies and plunder the oil wealth in the country. [iii]With military support from America, Saleh chose the low moral ground and spent over three decades using a patronage system to loot and squander his strategic opportunity. [iv]

The system was increasingly destabilized when Saleh started to shift the power balance towards his eldest son. The second destabilizer was Yemen’s domestic oil production which peaked at about 457,000 barrels a day in 2002 and then fell all the way down to 264,000 barrels a day by 2010. [v]By 2015 oil production was only about 10% of peak oil output in 2002. That created political and economic winners and losers as less and less oil wealth was available to spread around.

This struggle among the power elites for dwindling oil money took place just before another struggle which would soon emerge at a grassroots level. In fact the fight among the power elites meant there was relatively little resources left for the ordinary Yemenis to share among themselves. Before long, Yemen had its own version of the Arab Spring. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis protested peacefully at symbolic “Change Square” sites across the country to demand Saleh’s resignation. [vi] Along the way, Tawakkol Karman – a Yemeni female champion of women rights -- made it clear that these were social protests, not just political protests. She was a worthy co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her impressive efforts.

America Caught Off-Guard

Arab Spring protests caught Washington off-guard in Yemen. [vii] Ever since 9/11, America’s foreign policy in Yemen was like a one trick pony. Washington was content with using Saleh as a willing conduit to let the US military use drones to attack al Qaeda targets in Yemen. [viii] In return Washington implicitly turned a blind eye to Saleh’s autocratic ways.

That one trick pony may have played well at the Obama White House but it was ill-advised and shortsighted American foreign policy. Not only did America have no moral high ground in Yemen, but this quid pro quo, “drones for autocracy” deal, was soon overtaken by events. Arab Spring and Change Square were grass-roots protests against US backed autocratic strongmen across the Middle East. [ix]

But the mindset at the White House was better late than never. US diplomats went to work at the 11th hour to quickly “rebrand” Saleh and try to salvage their man. US diplomats put pressure on Saleh to make “bold” concessions in a disingenuous attempt to placate long suffering protesters at Change Square sites all around Yemen. In February 2011, Saleh, the ruthless dictator, obediently took his cue from Washington and suddenly played the role of sensitive economic and political reformer who now said he wanted “reconciliation.” [x]

Not surprisingly, the protesters didn’t buy this hypocrisy. The protesters had long lost faith with Saleh. They simply did not trust Saleh to follow through and actually implement any of these “shake and bake” political and economic reforms he had never supported in the past. In addition, the political wind in Yemen was blowing in a radically new direction. Saleh was losing support on multiple fronts.

President Obama -- who had been woefully behind the economic and political power curve in Yemen -- finally got the picture. It was now too late for Saleh to reform, so it was time for a policy turnaround and press the “change the regime button.” [xi] In Washington, the narrative quickly changed. Saleh was now more of a liability than an asset. He had no indigenous legitimacy and his presidency was untenable. America supported a GCC proposal for Saleh to relinquish power. Saleh signed the agreement to that effect and he left Yemen in June of 2011.[xii]

Protesters were happy see Saleh go off to Saudi Arabia but not so happy that the GCC gave him domestic immunity, thus protecting him from prosecution in the future. Protesters had good reason to fear that domestic immunity left the door open for Saleh to start meddling again in Yemeni politics. In fact, a vindictive Saleh could potentially return to Yemen and harness his deadly patronage network for a return to power. [xiii]

The departure of Saleh raised the question of who would assume power in Yemen. That turned out to be Vice President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The constitution enabled Hadi to serve on an emergency basis for 60 days. By the time February 2012 rolled around Hadi was elected as an Interim President for a two year transition period. Initially, Change Square protesters and opposition groups to Saleh’s regime were cautiously optimistic and had high hopes for Hadi personally and his two year transition.

National Dialogue

For a while Yemen was even a role model for Arab Spring. Hadi had UN, US and EU diplomats and consultants help the cause. In accordance with the GCC initiative, Yemen launched a National Dialogue Conference (NDC) in March 2013 to discuss key constitutional, political, and social issues. The national dialogue was supposed to provide an opportunity for all groups that felt marginalized politically and economically under the old order to press for renegotiation. The rhetoric sounded wonderful. After all, this would be the first democratic power shift and the most diversity in Yemen’s history. Even youth and women would be included. But there were two glaring omissions. Hadi marginalized the Houthis, who lived in the northern mountains and represented 40% of the population. He also marginalized the southerners who wanted autonomy.

Hope soon turned to chaos. By the end of 2013 there was still no consensus on the future structure of the state among national dialogue delegates. [xiv] Hadi concluded the NDC in January 2014. To be fair, Hadi said he wanted to implement subsequent steps in the transition process, including constitutional drafting, a constitutional referendum, and national elections. But there was no sense of when if ever this would happen.

Hadi kept saying the country just needed more time for the principles of national reconciliation to get sorted out. But even if that were true, it was not clear that this new political or economic system could be implemented anytime soon. That’s because Yemen’s collapsing economy did not allow for a gradual approach. The economy was rapidly running out of oil. Food prices were up for those lucky enough to have a job. But for the others, unemployment and poverty were an imminent threat. What was needed was economic crisis management, not marginal incrementalism. Unfortunately, Hadi relied on Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Basindwa to run the economy and Basindwa was weak and indecisive.

Hadi struggled to adjust to his new role as a caretaker president. At best, he was an indecisive politician heavily dependent on foreign consultants to prop him up. For their part, the UN and EU officials assigned to Yemen were equally ineffective. One problem was they turned Yemen into a de facto international protectorate and themselves into Hadi’s salesmen for this new political entity.

A second problem in 2014 was the international community (from the UN and EU) was still riding the success of negotiating the transition agreement. Their arrogance and lack of foresight was staggering. The UN and EU showed up in Yemen with too many political philosophers and not enough realistic, no nonsense power brokers. They rested on their laurels. They could still be seen celebrating and congratulating themselves in 2014 for a rare success story in Yemen which “gave everyone a voice.” The problem was their pride in “giving everyone a voice” turned into almost 1400 recommendations for change. Their chaotic process was “all over the place.”

Thus, the big buildup for a national dialogue turned into a big letdown for lots of frustrated groups in Yemen. Take the original Change Square protesters. Instead of a true social revolution, they felt betrayed. They felt the revolution was corrupted and hijacked by the regime’s internal power struggle. While Saleh was gone, many of the old regime players were still in place. The protesters felt Hadi was no different than Saleh in the sense that the system was corrupt and still rigged against them. The same eight to ten families dominated the economy and the political system. At best one faction of the old elite power center replaced another faction. [xv]

Of course, the existing power centers understandably had a different take on the process. In their world, what kept political and economic stability under Saleh was an internal balance of power in a carefully calculated patronage system. That system was destabilized because of nepotism and falling oil production. But since Saleh left, instability turned into chaos. None of the key players were certain about their economic or political weight. They were the existing centers of power and they resented emerging centers of power challenging their vested interests. Even after two years of transition, the existing centers of power saw a significant gap between formal power structures and informal networks of patronage.

Big Mistake: Marginalizing the Houthis

This gap turned into rage for the Houthis. The Houthis felt Hadi had failed to deliver on a number of substantive commitments to address their grievances during the national dialogue and they feared they would keep getting marginalized. To strengthen themselves militarily, the Houthis joined forces with Saleh’s forces and expanded their influence in northwestern Yemen. That culminated in a major military offensive against Hadi’s weak military units and the Houthis seized the capital of Sanaa in September 2014.

In January 2015, the Houthis surrounded the presidential palace, Hadi's residence, and key government facilities, prompting Hadi and the cabinet to submit their resignations. In February 2015 Hadi fled to Aden, where he rescinded his resignation. He subsequently escaped to Oman and then moved to Saudi Arabia and asked the GCC to intervene militarily in Yemen to protect the “legitimate” government from the Houthis.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia assembled a coalition of Arab militaries and began airstrikes against the Houthis and Houthi-affiliated forces. Ground fighting between Houthi-aligned forces and resistance groups backed by the Saudi-led coalition continued through 2016. In 2016, the UN brokered a months-long cessation of hostilities that reduced airstrikes and fighting, and initiated peace talks in Kuwait. However, the talks ended without agreement. Fighting resumed with neither side making decisive military gains.

Factionalism finally developed in the Saleh-Houthis alliance. Saleh started to call for political reconciliation with Hadi’s forces. Hard core Houthis felt Saleh was betraying their cause and killed Saleh in early December 2017. The civil war has continued unabated to the present times.

A Militarized American Foreign Policy

Instead of being an honest broker to facilitate peace talks and foster shared prosperity, a militarized American foreign policy under Obama and Trump made America complicit in the Saudi-led air campaign for Hadi against the Houthis. Since the Saudi coalition started its air campaign in Yemen in March of 2015, the US Air Force has provided operational support to Riyadh and its Arab allies. The US Air Force identifies Houthi targets to hit. And American diplomats at the UN protect Riyadh from censure, water down resolutions and prevent war crime inquiries.[xvi]In addition, Saudi and UAE jets have used U.S. mid-air refueling capabilities to maintain their battle rhythm without having to return to a base. According to the Pentagon, the U.S. Air Force has refueled Saudi aircraft more than 9,000 times.[xvii]

Bruce Riedel at Brookings notes that no president since Franklin Roosevelt has courted Saudi Arabia as zealously as did Obama. [xviii]Nicolas Niarchos notes that Obama agreed in November of 2015 to a giant weapons sale totaling $1.29 billion. Obama signed off on the Saudis buying seven thousand and twenty Paveway-II bombs. By the end of Obama’s Presidency, the U.S. had offered more than a hundred and fifteen billion dollars’ worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, the largest amount under any U.S. President in history. [xix]

Obama’s courtship with Saudi Arabia resulted in a US military assistance program which enabled the Saudi-led coalition to intensify and prolong the civil war. Unfortunately, America’s strategy under Obama and Trump is not only failing, it is backfiring. After Kareem Fahim’s fourth visit to Yemen since the civil war began, the Washington Postjournalist underscores how embittered Yemen civilians have become because of the violence. [xx]Dafna H. Rand, a Middle East expert who covered Yemen under Obama, says that the longer the war goes on, the longer the risk that deep resentment against the United States will radicalize and lead to the rise in violent extremism.[xxi]In fact, US Senator Chris Murphy says that his first job is to protect U.S. citizenry, and, he feels that these arms sales put U.S. lives in jeopardy. [xxii] The rising anti-Americanism plays right into the hands of al Qaeda propaganda and recruitment of more and more anti-US terrorists.

Believing the Fiction

If Obama’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia ultimately boomerang back and threaten American lives, why did he pursue such a counter-productive policy in the first place? And if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, why does Trump keep doing the same thing? The only plausible explanation is Obama genuinely believed what Riyadh told him. In this regard, Saudi Arabia claims that it needs all of this military assistance to counter Iranian support to the Houthis. But nothing could be further from the truth. The nature and extent of the huge US military assistance to the Saudi Arabia for its air campaign in Yemen is far beyond what Iran is doing on the ground for the Houthis. Mareike Transfeld, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, notes that Iran actually has a small hand to play in Yemen. As Transfeld puts it, Iranian support for the Houthis has been marginal. Indigenous factors in Yemen are far more important. Tranfeld argues that Saudi claims of Iran’s influence over the Houthis are way overblown. While Transfeld concedes that the Houthis do receive some support from Iran, it is mostly political, with minimal financial and military assistance.[xxiii]

The Saudi narrative that Iran has a close sectarian relationship with the Houthis is also fiction. The Houthis are a homegrown force, not a puppet of Iran. Transfeld notes that “Until Arab Spring came along, the term “Shia” was not used in the Yemen. That’s because the Houthis do not follow the Twelver Shia tradition predominant in Iran, but adhere to the Zaidiya, which in practice is closer to Sunni Islam, and had expressed no solidarity with other Shia communities.” [xxiv] Unfortunately, the US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis has finally turned into a self- fulfilling prophecy by pushing the Houthis closer to Iran.

A Humanitarian Crisis

Now that we’ve looked at America’s militarized foreign policy toward Yemen and how Obama and Trump justify intensifying and prolonging the civil war, it’s important to understand how a militarized American foreign policy toward Yemen creates a humanitarian crisis. 8 million people in Yemen are on the brink of famine. In addition, Yemen has endured the worst cholera epidemic in history, with more than 1 million people infected. US Senator Chris Murphy even accuses the US of complicity in war crimes from the floor of the Senate.[xxv]

For starters US support for Saudi Arabia’s de facto air and naval blockade impedes both commercial and humanitarian food supplies. The pattern for the humanitarian crisis keeps reoccurring. A ship carrying commercial supplies for southern parts of the country will sit off the port of Aden awaiting permission to come in. On the humanitarian front, the various agencies have neither the access nor the funds to supply food or medicine. A ship carrying World Food Program (WFP) aid in the port of Hodeida does not get the clearance to unload and transport food to areas where it is needed. [xxvi]Even when food somehow gets into the country, fighting around ports makes food delivery difficult and dangerous. Thus, local markets do not have enough food to meet the needs of the population. [xxvii] How Yemen has escaped from a full-blown famine during the past two years has been something of a miracle. Only heroic efforts by aid groups have kept trucks teetering up dangerous roads from Hodeida to regions where food and medicine are desperately in short supply. [xxviii]

That said, there are good people with warm hearts lower down in the pecking order in the US government who genuinely wanted to mitigate the chances of famine in Yemen. Toward that end, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) responded to the humanitarian crisis by spending four million dollars on cranes to hopefully help take food and medicine off the ships at the port of Hodeida.[xxix] But Saudi Arabia felt these cranes weakened Saudi-led economic coercion of the Houthis. Not surprisingly, DOD outgunned USAID in a turf battle. And so the American cranes were removed, thus making it increasingly difficult to expedite the movement of food and medicine to the port itself.

Removing the cranes shows how economic coercion turns into a complicit American military action to intensify and prolong the civil war. Once the cranes were gone and Hodeida was more vulnerable, the Saudis and the UAE launched a reckless and potentially catastrophic attack on Hodeida in mid-June 2018. Because 70 percent of Yemen’s food and aid shipments come through the port, the United Nations and every major humanitarian agency have warned of dire consequences for the 22 million Yemenis who already depend on outside assistance, including 8 million on the brink of famine. They pleaded with the Saudis and Emiratis to hold off and allow more time for a diplomatic solution. [xxx] David Milibrand, the former British foreign secretary, was also a critic of the attack on Hodeida. He said, “The attack on the port is an assault on the chances of a political settlement in addition to a danger to civilian life. [xxxi]

The sad thing is the Saudi-led attack was totally preventable. Instead, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dithered, thereby allowing it to go forward. In other words, the Saudi-led attack went ahead after receiving what amounted to passive assent from Trump. That means Trump and his national security team will be complicit if the impact of their actions result is what aid officials say it could be: starvation, epidemics and other human suffering in Yemen surpassing anything the world has seen in decades. [xxxii]

What other ways does the Saudi-led coalition justify its attack on Hodeida? UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs says the Houthis are not willing to negotiate and that the seizure of Hodeida is necessary to bring them to the table. But that fiction is contradicted by Martin Griffiths, the relatively new U.N. envoy for Yemen seeking to broker peace talks, who tried to stop the attack. Griffiths has talked face to face with Houthi leaders who assure him that they are ready for political talks. [xxxiii]

Glimmer of Hope

Despite the UN failure to stop the Saudi-led attack on Hodeida, there is finally reason for cautious optimism that something can be done to end this humanitarian nightmare. Back in April 2018 Martin Griffiths stood up at the UN Security Council and provided a glimmer of hope. During the first few months in 2018 when he was appointed to this important position Griffiths has met most of the key players in the conflict and is preparing a plan for a new round of peace talks.

One key player Griffiths no longer had to meet was Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former dictator, who was killed on 4 December 2017. Saleh was the most powerful stakeholder in Yemen, and responsible advocates of peace talks in the international community had hoped to use Saleh to broker an end to the war. There are those who argue that Saleh’s death therefore leaves a power vacuum and will make it even more difficult for Griffiths to try to end the war. They may be right. [xxxiv]

But Griffiths is a well-qualified British diplomat who knows how to turn this power vacuum into a diplomatic opportunity. How? Saleh did more than anyone else to plunder billions of dollars from the Arab world’s poorest state. He also drove this country into civil war and arguably would have kept increasing the demand for violence. Now that Saleh is gone it will arguably be easier to heal the wounds without Saleh promoting violent solutions or Saleh’s enemies harboring a burning rage for violent revenge.

If anyone can reset relationships and restart the long-stalled peace process it may well be Martin Griffiths. He is an experienced mediator, including experience in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. Most importantly, Griffiths is no stranger to Yemen. Since 2015 he has met with the various warring groups on behalf of the UN. Thus, he was able to hit the ground running when he was promoted to be the UN peace envoy.

In the month since he took the job on 19 March, Griffiths has met Yemen’s former President Hadi, along with the former Yemeni prime minister, Ahmed bin Daghir and foreign minister, Abdul Malik al‑Mikhlafi. He has also met with Saudi officials supporting Hadi. Shortly thereafter, Griffiths travelled to Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, to meet Houthi leaders, who greeted him warmly and were confident he would be an honest broker. That’s in sharp contrast with the way the Houthis treated his predecessor, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, whom they had not permitted to visit the city for nearly a year. In fact, Ahmed somehow managed to antagonize both the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government.

Conclusion

While Martin Griffiths arguably provides a glimmer of hope, his biggest challenge may well be getting America onboard and supporting his call for peace talks. As this study has explained, Washington turned a blind eye to Saleh’s corrupt and autocratic ways as long as he let America use drones to kill al Qaeda terrorists in the country. Then Arab Spring caught America by surprise. Obama tried to rebrand Saleh as a sensitive economic and political reformer. That disingenuous tactic didn’t fly. So America did a policy turnaround and started to say Saleh lost his “legitimacy.” America did its part to throw Saleh out of the country. Then Saleh allied with the marginalized Houthis.

That left Vice President Hadi, who was part of the same corrupt patronage system, waiting in the wings. US diplomats went to work trying to sell Hadi as a “Jeffersonian democrat.” He would be the new acting President for two years while the country had a national dialogue. There would be democracy for all – all except 40% of the population who were Houthis who lived in the northern mountains. In addition, southerners who wanted autonomy would also be marginalized. In spite of this democratic hypocrisy, Hadi asked the autocratic Saudis for help in “reviving democracy” and helping the “legitimate” government return to power. The Saudis said sure thing and started bombing the marginalized Houthis almost continuously for the past four years. As a result, America finds itself wallowing in the moral low ground in Yemen.

What are the lessons learned for American foreign policy? Don’t pursue a militarized foreign policy which opts for narrow counterterrorism tactics and turns a blind eye to negative economic and political conditions in a country like Yemen. Hoping for the best is not a strategy. Don’t think you can “rebrand” someone like Saleh with a laundry list of economic and political reforms at the eleventh hour. It’s hypocrisy. Don’t force regime change when shake and bake reforms for Saleh don’t click. Remember what Roland Paris, author of At War’s End, says. Political and economic shock therapy simply intensifies competition which quickly turns into conflict and civil war. Instead America needs to take the long view and work hard to facilitate political and economic liberalization in Yemen over decades rather than media cycles. Finally, stop saying America does not foster nation building. Rebalance American foreign policy in Yemen with diplomatic and economic actions rather than a one trick pony approach of massive arms sales to an autocratic Saudi Arabia and expect democracy to break out. Narrow US counterterrorism tactics against al Qaeda targets in Yemen are no substitute for fostering responsible nation building.

The longer the war goes on, the longer the risk that deep resentment against the United States will radicalize and lead to the rise in violent extremism. The massive US arms sales to Saudi Arabia actually puts U.S. lives in jeopardy. The rising anti-Americanism plays right into the hands of al Qaeda propaganda and recruitment of more and more anti-US terrorists.

What America needs to do is stop all military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Houthis. Let UN humanitarian assistance flow freely. And bend over backwards to help Martin Griffiths and UN efforts to facilitate pe

[i]Alex Emmons, Chris Murphy Accuses U.S. of complicity in War Crimes from the floor of the Senate, Intercept, 115 November 2017.

[ii]See Paul Dresch, A History of Modern Yemen, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[iii]See Gabriele vom Bruck, Islam, Memory and Morality in Yemen: Ruling Families in Transition, Palgrave MacMilland, 2005.

[iv]For a good discussion of the patronage system in Yemen, see Sarah Phillips, Yemen’s Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008).

[v]BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011.

[vi]For the early response inside Yemen to Arab Spring, see Waves of Unrest Spread to Yemen, New York Times, 27 January 2011 and Letter from Yemen after the Uprising, New Yorker, 11 April 2011

[vii]Yemen protests inside Yemen to Arab Spring, see Waves of Unrest Spread to Yemen, New York Times, 27 January 2011 and Letter from Yemen after the Uprising, New Yorker, 11 April 2011

[viii]See the Dangerous US Game in Yemen, The Nation, 30 March 2011

[ix]See Isa Blumi, Chaos in Yemen: Societal Collapse and the New Authoritarianism, Routledge, 2011.

[x]Ginny Hill, Yemen Endures: Civil War, Saudi Adventurism and the Future of Arabia, Oxford University Press, p. 207

[xi]US Shifts to Seek Removal of Yemen’s leader, an Ally, New York Times, 3 April 2011

[xii]Hill, op.cit, p. 207

[xiii]Ibid, p. 210.

[xiv]Ginny Hill et al, Yemen: Corruption, Capital Flight and Global Drivers of Conflict, Chatham House Report, Sept 2013

[xv]Hill, Yemen Endures, op. cit p. 212.

[xvi]Daniel Depetris, “The U.S. is enabling civil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” Los Angeles Times, 9 October 2017.

[xvii]Ibid.

[xviii]Bruce Riedel, Kings and Presidents, Brookings Institution Press, 2017.

[xix]Nicolas Niarchos, “How the U.S. is Making the War in Yemen Worse,” The New Yorker, 15 January 2018

[xx]Editorial, “Catastrophe could lie ahead in Yemen, Washington Post(WP), 14 June 2018

[xxi] Nicolas Niarchos, op.cit.

[xxii] Ibid.

[xxiii]Mareike Transfeld, “Iran’s Small Hand in Yemen,” Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 14 February 2017. Mareike Transfeld is a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

[xxiv]Ibid.

[xxv]Alex Emmons, Chris Murphy Accuses the US of Complicity in War Crimes from the Floor of the Senate, Intercept, 15 November 2017.

[xxvi]See Leif Rosenberger, “Reconciling the Global Supply and Demand for Food,” Economonitor, Roubini Global Economics, 28 February 2018

[xxvii]Ibid.

[xxviii]Editorial, “Catastrophe could lie ahead in Yemen, Washington Post(WP), 14 June 2018

[xxix]Nicolas Niarchos, op.cit.

[xxx]Editorial, WP, op. ed.

[xxxi]Ibid.

[xxxii]Editorial, WP, op.cit.

[xxxiii]See Economist Intelligence Unit, UN mediator pushes for deal to end Hodeida fighting, 28 June 2018 and Yemen, New UN peace envoy prepares negotiation plans, 20 April 2018

[xxxiv]The Economist, An ex-dictator slaughtered, 7 December 2017

Photo Courtest of Kenneth Lu

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