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GA of the day: Yemen War

GA of the day: Yemen War

Origin

The conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising that forced its long-time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, in 2011.

As president, Mr Hadi struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including attacks by jihadists, a separatist movement in the south, and the continuing loyalty of security personnel to Saleh, as well as corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.

The War

The Houthi movement, which champions Yemen's Zaidi Shia Muslim minority and fought a series of rebellions against Saleh during the previous decade, took advantage of the new president's weakness by taking control of their northern heartland of Saada province and neighbouring areas.

Disillusioned with the transition, many ordinary Yemenis - including Sunnis - supported the Houthis and in late 2014 and early 2015, the rebels took over Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia enters the war

Alarmed 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.

The coalition received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France.

What UN says?

In short, the situation in Yemen is, the UN says, the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

The UN says more than 6,800 civilians have been killed and at least 10,700 injured in the fighting since March 2015, with well over half of the casualties caused by Saudi-led coalition air strikes.

An international group tracking the civil war believes the death toll is far higher. The US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project estimates that more than 60,000 civilians and combatants have been killed since 2016, based on news reports of each incident of violence.

More than 20 million Yemenis - two thirds of the population - are food insecure. Ten million of them are severely food insecure - more than twice the number of four years ago. 

 

 

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