[R4740] Updating the Conflict in Yemen

Created by Daniel Martin Varisco
Monday, 11/20/17 3:30pm


Of all the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, one of the least reported in the media is the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. This forum brings together five experts who work on Yemen to discuss the current state of the conflict in Yemen, changes in the shifting alliances and prospects for cessation of hostilities. These experts come from the disciplines of Anthropology, Political Science and American Studies, as well as a former senior Yemeni diplomat. The goal is to provide an update on the current state of the civil strife in Yemen by the time of the annual meeting. The turmoil in Yemen is part of a wider regional struggle that has pitted Sunni vs. Shi'a groups in a political battle for influence and dominance. Following the "Arab Spring" revolution in Yemen that led to the removal of Ali Abdullah Salih after three decades of power, a failed National Dialogue Conference failed to reconcile political differences. The expulsion of interim President Hadi by the Huthi/Salih forces led to a protracted bombing campaign by a Saudi-led coalition after March, 2015. Yemen, unified as a state in 1990, has been split apart by competing sectarian factions, with a Huthi/Salih alliance in the north, anti-Huthi Saudi-backed forces in the south around Aden and cells of Ansar Shariah (al-Qaida) and ISIS in the east. Despite international efforts brokered by the United Nations to resolve the conflict, there has been no viable resolution to the conflict by the start of 2017. Many experts consider the conflict an unwinnable war, yet it drags on. The extent of destruction, primarily from the bombing campaign and blockade, has affected the entire population. Over 10,000 thousand civilians, including many women and children, have been killed, in addition to an unknown number of combatants. In January, 2017, the UN Humanitarian director of OCHA noted that every ten minutes a Yemeni child died of preventable causes. Hospitals and clinics, even those maintained by Medecins sans frontieres, have been bombed, as well as many factories, mosques and heritage monuments. Massive unemployment has created a potential pool for the different armed groups fighting each other for power. The roundtable is intended not only to update information on the situation but also to stimulate research by scholars in multiple disciplines on one of the major humanitarian crises in the Middle East.


American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS)


Pol Science




Daniel Martin Varisco

(American Institue for Yemeni Studies)
Daniel Martin Varisco is President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (2014ff), former editor of Contemporary Islam and Editor-in-Chief of CyberOrient (cyberorient.net), moderator of the academic blog Tabsir (tabsir.net), former head of the...
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Sheila Carapico

(University of Richmond)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

HE Amat Al-Alim Alsoswa

(Former Minister for Human Rights/Yemen)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Waleed Mahdi

(University of Oklahoma)
Waleed F. Mahdi is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma with a joint affiliation in the Department of International and Area Studies and the Department of Modern Languages, Literature, and Linguistics. He is a comparatist with research...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Nadwa Aldawsari

(Project on Middle East Democracy)
Nadwa Al-Dawsari is a researcher and conflict practioner with over 16 years of field experience in conflict management and civil society development in Yemen. She is specialized in informal governance, tribes, and tribal conflict resolution mechanisms....
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;