What’s behind Yemen’s recent political turmoil (WaPo’s Monkey Cage)


From Stephen W. Day’s article:

“The resignation of Yemen’s government in late January 2015, after President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah (both from the south), as well as cabinet members, were held under house arrest by northern Houthi rebel forces, has led the United States and several other countries to close their embassies in the capital Sanaa. On Feb. 15, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding that Houthi forces “immediately and unconditionally” relinquish control of government institutions and release the president and other government officials. Nearly a week later, on Feb. 21, Hadi and his family managed to flee Sanaa to the southern port city Aden, where he reclaimed his post as president and denounced the “Houthi coup.”

These developments in Yemen pose a serious threat to hopes for political stability inside the country and in the wider region, but not for the reasons popularly assumed. The recent turmoil should not be understood as an Iranian-backed coup or part of the Islamic State’s spread in the region. These are broader narratives in the Middle East that have little to do with Yemeni realities. The Houthi movement’s actions follow a familiar dynamic in Yemeni politics, which closely matches those described in my 2012 book “Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen.”

Read the full article here.


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