Why should we care about: Civil war, now in third year, wreaks havoc on Yemen



Torn apart by various factions, Yemen’s political situation will never be the same following this war. With some cities such as Taiz suffering months long sieges and a stagnating peace process, many Yemenis have little hope for the future. The old city of Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been met with major destruction over the past two years.

Saige Gitlin, Staff Writer

When people think about conflict in the Middle East, they generally focus on countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. While these countries are filled with conflict, there is one country that is not currently receiving the attention it needs: Yemen.

Not only is Yemen the poorest country in the Middle East, but it is also involved in a major civil war. If you weren’t aware of this fact, you’re not alone. In a recent study, less than 50% of British citizens were even aware that the war was occurring.

Despite its limited amount of coverage, the war has been extremely detrimental to Yemen and its civilians. Since March 2015, over 6,800 people have been killed and 35,000 have been injured.

Additionally, 80% of the population in Yemen is in need of some form of aid or assistance. The conflict in Yemen began with a failed transition of power between the old president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the new president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi,  back in 2011. Yemenis soon became angered by the way the Mr. Hadi was handling various pressing issues including poverty, unemployment and government corruption.

The citizens of Yemen began to uprise and protest the government in 2014, and by January 2015, the uprising group had infiltrated the government. The uprising group, known as the Houthis, captured the capital and the president, as well as other government officials.

Shortly after their attack, the uprising group forced President Hadi to flee the capital. Since the initial takeover, the two sides have been locked in conflict.

Other countries, namely Saudi Arabia, have joined the effort to help restore Mr. Hadi’s position as president, and the United States has donated weapons and intelligence to the Saudi effort, along with deploying troops to Yemen. Currently, no side has gained enough momentum to see a clear victory.

The most recent attacks were a series of air strikes by the United States, many of which took place in the city of Sana’a, Yemen’s capital city.

Additionally, a number of recent suicide bombing attacks have taken place in small military villages in the Abayan Providence. As a result, much of the nation’s infrastructure has been destroyed. According to the United Nations, children under the age of 18 made up approximately one-third of civilian deaths.

People in Yemen no longer have access to resources like hospitals, medicine, and food markets because their buildings and resources have all been destroyed. Currently, 21 million people in Yemen do not have access to essential resources.

However, it has been very difficult for foreign groups to provide aid to civilians in Yemen. Due to the Houthis siege, many parts of the country that would usually be used to bring supplies have been blocked.

The war and instability in Yemen are extremely important issues. Due to the constant fighting and lack of resources, it is likely that a terrorist group could gain momentum. It is crucial that people pay attention to the affair and war to prevent a radical group from being popularized.