The Yemeni Civil War and how to Stop it
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The Yemeni Civil War and How to Stop It
Hello, today we are here together to discuss a great tragedy, the Yemeni Civil War. This war has taken a great toll, not only on the Yemeni people, but on the world. With so many countries having a part in it, we here at the United Nations believe that it is time to put an end to this war.
The Yemeni Civil war began to brew in the 1990s as a revivalist movement that wanted to defend the religious traditions of a branch of Shia Islam known as Zaidism. By the 2000s, it was leading a stubborn military insurgency that consumed tribal politics in the far north. When a series of peaceful protests called the Arab Spring began in 2011, Ansar Allah was a large supporter of the peaceful protests against Mr Saleh and actively participated in the National Dialogue that followed his fall. The group backed regional autonomy, respect for diversity, and the strengthening of a democratic state. In 2014, as the interim government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi stalled, Ansar Allah began a series of military campaigns in the north of Yemen.
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The attacks culminated in the descent on the capital city of Sanaa in September of the same year. The Houthis and security forces loyal to Mr Saleh then attempted to take control of the entire country, forcing Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee abroad in March of 2015. Frightened by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr Hadi’s government. These countries were given support in the form of intelligence from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
The Middle Eastern countries against the Houthi rebels began airstrikes soon after. The Saudi-led coalition feared that continued success of the Houthis would give their rival regional power and Shia-majority state, Iran, a foothold in Yemen. The coalition accuses Iran of dealing weapons to the Houthis, though Iran denies this charge. Infighting among pro-government forces erupted in 2015. Separatists seeking independence for south Yemen, which was a separate country before unification with the north in 1990, formed an uneasy alliance with troops loyal to Mr Hadi in 2015 to stop the Houthis capturing Aden. The situation has been made more complex by divisions within the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia reportedly backs Mr Hadi, who is based in Riyadh, while the United Arab Emirates is closely aligned with the separatists.
As the war continued, the Houthis were dealing with some issues of their own, and in December of 2017, the Houthis broke with Saleh and he was killed by Houthi fighters. In short, the situation in Yemen is, the UN says, the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. More than 6,800 civilians have been killed and at least 10,700 injured since March 2015, the UN says. Well over half of the dead and wounded have been caused by Saudi-led coalition air strikes. According to the UN Human Rights Council, civilians have repeatedly been the victims of “unrelenting violations of international humanitarian law”.