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TheHeralding - Yemen

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Title: TheHeralding - Yemen


1
Yemen
2
Content Overview
  1. Country Profile
  2. Political Situation
  3. Domestic and Foreign Politics
  4. Current Security Situation

3
Country Profile
  • Demographics
  • Mainly Arab (When the former states of North and
    South Yemen were established, most resident
    minority groups departed.)
  • Yemen is still a largely tribal society. (eg In
    the northern, mountainous parts of the country,
    there are some 400 Zaidi tribes)
  • Geographic Location
  • Borders Saudi Arabia and Oman
  • Ruler
  • Mohammed Ali al-Houthi (seized power)

4
Political System
  • Framework
  • Follows the a bicameral legislature meaning two
    house legislature
  • Under the constitution, an elected president, an
    elected 301-seat House of Representatives, and an
    appointed 111-member Shura Council share power.
  • The president is head of state, and the prime
    minister is head of government. The constitution
    provides that the president be elected by popular
    vote from at least two candidates endorsed by
    Parliament the prime minister is appointed by
    the president. The presidential term of office is
    7 years, and the parliamentary term of elected
    office is 6 years
  • Current Positions
  • Mohammed Ali al-Houthi

5
Domestic and Foreign Politics
  • Power Vacuum
  • The Houthis took control of Sana'a in Sep 14 but
    had agreed to withdraw when new national unity
    government has been formed.
  • This prompted Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur
    and his ministers to resign
  • The Houthis declared full control of the
    government in 6 Feb
  • They dissolved the parliament and put in a
    revolutionary committee led by Mohammed Ali
    al-houthi in charge
  • Despite earlier agreements to withdraw after a
    new unity government is formed, the Houthis
    rejected the draft of new constitution proposed
    by the government
  • Seized State TV
  • Clashed with troops in Sana'a
  • Border incursions into Saudi Arabia

6
Domestic and Foreign Politics
  • Power Vacuum
  • Following the chaos, the AQAP briefly seized
    territory in south Yemen, continuing its campaign
    against the Houthis
  • Uses current unrest as an opportunity to expand
    in Yemen's southern and eastern governorates
  • Carried out attack on Yemeni military and Houthi
    targets

7
Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
  • Became a major base for Islamic militants in
    Yemen after their training bases in Afghanistan
    and Pakistan closed down
  • Established several stronghold in Abyan province
    after anti-government uprising in 2011
  • Battled within the government forces for control
    of several towns in the south
  • Pledged allegiance to ISIS in early Feb 15.
  • Behind the following attacks
  • failed attack on US airliner on Christmas 2009
  • 2010 cargo plane bomb plot in 2010
  • suicide attack on military personnel in 2012
  • Attack on Yemeni Defense Ministry in Sana'a (5th
    Dec 2013)
  • Charlie Hebdo killings
  • Also announced a strategy (Operation Haemorrhage)
    that would call for large number of inexpensive,
    small scale attacks against US to weaken their
    economy

8
US interest in region
Vested interests - adopts geopolitical strategy
to control international trade through the Mandab
Strait and Suez Canal, access to African raw
materials, and most specifically, block the
expansion of Chinese economic influence in both
the Middle East and Africa. Comparisons made
between Syria Change of governments did not occur
for Syria and Yemen, despite Calls for reforms.
However, Yemen has pro-democracy opposition that
took to the streets in hopes of forcing reforms
9
US interest in region
  • Conflict with Iran
  • Iran already has a military presence on the
    Strait of Hormuz, another vital energy shipping
    lane, and the strategic implications of an
    Iranian-backed militia gaining control of Bab Al
    Mandeb Note that the Houthis are majority
    Shiite too
  • Saudi Arabian Pressure
  • Despite often intervening politically into
    Yemens political situation, Saudi Arabia stopped
    after the Houthis overthrew the government,
    instead engaging in airstrikes over Houthi held
    positions near the border.
  • With a population that is 35 percent Shia, Yemen
    could serve as a potentially friendly base of
    operations in Iran's rivalry against Saudi
    Arabia. For Iran, easier access to Yemen means
    easier access to Saudi Arabia and both
    countries are making political maneuvers of their
    own to secure the region. The US inevitably finds
    itself pulled into the mix.

10
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