Houthis and the central government

The Houthi movement was formed during the 1990s as a revivalist movement for youths
and with the aim of defending Zaidism religious traditions. The movement had evolved into a
military insurgency that was stubborn and deeply rooted in tribal politics, especially in the
governance of Saada by 2000s. Its objective changed and became more oriented towards
defending itself and its allies against the military, which was being led by President Abdullah
Saleh. The group managed to put pressure on Hadi till he resigned under the influence of Ansar
Allah. Their main areas of interest were respect for diversity, strengthening the states towards
becoming democratic, as well as, regional autonomy
. The group used violent military
campaigns and defeated military units that were allied to Islah, particularly taking control of
Sanaa in 2014.
Problem and thesis statement
The movement gained control of a greater part of Northern Territory in Yemen in 2015
Currently, Houthi resists the military intervention, which is Saudi-led in Yemen since it claims to
be seeking to restore to the power of the Yemeni government that was once recognized across
nations. As a result of the resistance, some nations such as Australia and Saudi Arabia have
recognized the Houthi as a terrorist organization.
Based the ongoing conflicts between the Houthi and Yemen’s central government, there
is the danger that war will always ensue. Thus, the country may remain to be the poorest in the
Schmitz 2017
Schmitz 2017
Arab world, with much impact being felt in the northern region of Saada province, which is the
stronghold for Houthi. As the war escalates, negative consequences are witnessed. For instance,
many civilian casualties have been recorded while many Yemenis have been displaced thus,
forcing them to seek for relief assistance such as food and shelter.
The people, who are left behind live in unfavorable conditions, especially when they need
medical assistance
. Therefore, this paper will argue that given that many foreign countries have
become involved in the war, they should take up the role of outlining a forward path for both the
central government and the Houthis. They should bring in unifying factors such that each party
backs off from extreme positions that it holds instead of trying to strengthen one side by
supporting it with military assistance.
Literature review
According to various reports, several foreign nations are involved in the ongoing war in
Yemen between the central government and Houthi. Al Jazeera reports that Saudi Arabia created
a coalition comprising of Arab states with a sole aim of helping Yemen government to defeat the
Houthi back in 2015
. Currently, the coalition has expanded to encompass nations such as
Senegal, Sudan, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arabs Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. Some of the
countries that have been involved in the coalition have gone to the extent of sending their troops
to Yemen, while the rest have conducted air strikes. Aljazeera also reports that the government
of the United States launches regular airstrikes on Islamic states and al-Qaeda, as well as, targets
Yemen. On the other hand, Iran plays a role in arming the Houthi, as well as, shipping arms to
Al Jazeera 2017
Al Jazeera 2017
Yemen to support the Houthi. Iran also has plans to send military advisers to offer support to the
Erlich also identifies Qatar as a major player in the ongoing Yemen crisis
. However, its
role is portrayed in a negative perspective because it aims at offering military support to Yemen.
The nation entered into a Pentagon deal where it would offer Apache helicopters worth $11
billion, as well as, sophisticated missiles all to be used to help Yemen’s central government to
overcome the Houthi. Researchers have refuted the idea that the tension is religion in Yemen.
Instead, they have stood their ground that the war is political rather than being sectarian. Thus,
Qatar supports the central government of Yemen with the hope that the rebel leaders and the
government will come up with a solution to their political differences, which will ultimately
reduce sectarian tensions.
Ramani explored the role that China plays in the crisis in Yemen. He found that China
offers different kinds of assistance
. The important aspect is that it is against the attempt by
Houthi rebels to create a new form of government in the already conquered territory, which is
Sanaa. This means that China has to support the central government to strengthen its position in
fighting the Houthi. As such, the nation has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia to assist the
government in intervention attempts to defeat the rebels effectively. However, China’s support
for Yemen’s government is economically motivated.
For example, Ramani notes that China would reap huge economic benefits if hostilities in
Yemen cease
. Beijing would be in a better position to access Bab al-Mandeb Strait, which
Erlich 2017
Ramani 2017
Ramani 2017
connects the Middle East to the Horn of Africa. Therefore, China hopes to achieve its objective
to expand ‘One Belt, One Road to Saudi Arabia’ thus, giving China an opportunity to actively
take part in trading seaborne oil across the straits of Yemen’s maritime with such a connection.
Based on the literature review, the nations analyzed do not take part in offering a solution
to the tension between the central government and the rebellious Houthi. All the involved foreign
nations only support one of the conflict sides, which they believe has similar interests to them.
Based on the positive side, they offer humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians, but this is
more of a reactive approach. The nations would be considered of much help if they adopted a
proactive measure to address the crisis between the conflicting parties in Yemen. They perpetrate
more war by offering military and weapons assistance to either the government or the Houthi.
This is because each side of the conflicting parties feels encouraged to test the weapons that it
obtains and proves that the assistance being accorded to it is worth. As such, the parties involved
in the Yemen crisis would continue fighting each other rather than trying to come together and
negotiate to arrive at an amicable solution.
Therefore, foreign nations can play a better role in addressing the crisis in Yemen. For
example, they can work together with the conflicting parties to decide who needs to exit the
equation. They can do this by evaluating the current situation and the history, which culminated
in the crisis thus, deciding the party that should reconsider its stand between the Houthi and the
central government. The nations can also have sittings with leaders of each side and evaluate the
impacts that their leadership has, especially in perpetrating the conflict. With such negotiations,
it can also be possible to determine whether any other approaches can be used to fulfill the
requirements of the rebel. This can be done by evaluating the reasons behind their rebellion and
whether an action to correct some of them will make the other party satisfied and quit the
conflict or not.
According to Al Jazeera, the Zaydis, who are the main supporters of the Houthi, should
understand that Iran is an ineffective and reliable ally
. This is because its idea of meddling with
them was just a way of frustrating United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and further Gulf estates.
With such an understanding, fighting parties in Yemen will realize that the war may not even end
soon if they keep depending on foreign nations since these nations will be expediting their
differences through supporting different sides in Yemen.
All parties involved in the Yemen crisis should adopt talks to address the conflict. It
seems that military solutions that are offered by foreign nations will only exacerbate the situation
with each side trying to prove that it is stronger than the other. Furthermore, some of the
assisting nations are only involved because they want to frustrate a certain nation by supporting
one side of the conflict. It would seem inappropriate that the nations, which come forward to
offer humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians in Yemen also perpetrate the violence by
offering military assistance. There is a high possibility that the peace talks will not yield any
effective solution to the ongoing conflict between Houthis and the central government of Yemen.
This is because the government may be unwilling to give the Houthis substantial power share
However, with the intervention of the foreign nations, it is worth giving the peace talks a try.
Al Jazeera 2017
Aftandilian 2017
Aftandilian, Gregory. "The Yemen Conflict and Its Elusive Political Solutionacw."
Arabcenterdc.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.
Al Jazeera. "Key Facts About The War In Yemen." Aljazeera.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Dec.
Erlich, Reese. "The Struggle For Power In Yemen Continues, And Qatar Is Playing A Key
Role." Public Radio International. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.
Ramani, Samuel. "China's Role In The Yemen Crisis." The Diplomat. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Dec.
Schmitz, Charles. "The Rise Of Yemen's Houthi Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Dec.

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