Consequences of Yemen Civil war

Synopsis- Joe Biden declared that the US will no longer back the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. Yemen Civil war resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and a humanitarian crisis. A reconciliation is urgently required.

Background of Yemen civil war-

  1. The civil war between the Yemeni government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels began in 2014. The Houthi rebels gradually took over the capital Sana’a.
  2. In 2015, the war intensified. Saudi Arabia and 8 other Arab nations, supported by the US, the UK, and France, launched airstrikes against the Houthis. This attack was aimed to restore the Hadi government in Yemen.
  3. The Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade on Yemen, in the hope of weakening the Houthis.
  4. Despite the blockade, the Houthis continued to amass weapons, including technologically sophisticated drones. They used these weapons to strike Saudi targets across the border.
  5. The Saudi-led coalition failed to eject the Houthis as the rebel group still controls the city.

Consequences of Yemen-Saudi war

  • The war has produced a humanitarian crisis. At least 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 22.2 million people (75% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • The conflict has killed more than 100,000 Yemenis and displaced 8 million.
  • Towns and cities have been destroyed. Poverty has spread and diseases like cholera have proven difficult to combat because of poor medical infrastructure.
  • According to the UN, 50,000 Yemenis are starving to death and 16 million will go hungry this year.

What are the steps taken by the US?

  • Joe Biden has announced an end to US support for Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen.
  • The Biden administration had put a temporary halt on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Moreover, US-appointed a Special Envoy for Yemen.
  • Other than that, the US also Removed the Shia Houthi rebels from the terrorist list.
  • The US is planning to increase the number of refugees accepted by the US from 15000 to 125000 for the fiscal year.

What needs to be done?

  • The international community should focus on tackling the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
  • The Biden administration should use its leverage to pressure Saudi to lift the blockade on Yemen.
  • The Houthis and the Saudis must agree to a ceasefire. After that, the US and its regional allies can call a multilateral conference involving all stakeholders to consider Yemen’s future.
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