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Michael Anker Lollesgaard, Head of the United Nations Mission in support of the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA), speaks during a press conference to welcome the handover of the port of Hodeida on 14 May 2019, in the Yemeni port city. AFP

This is International Crisis Group’s eleventh regular update on the war in Yemen. This week, we focus on the first step towards force redeployments in Hodeida and the response of the UN Security Council.

Trendline: Unilateral Redeployment

Five months after the UN brokered an agreement to demilitarise the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, there has finally been movement on the ground. Yet not everyone is happy.

Briefing the UN Security Council on 15 May, Special Envoy Martin Griffiths announced that military forces loyal to the Huthi (Ansar Allah) movement had withdrawn from the three main ports on Yemen’s Red Sea coast – Hodeida, Ras Issa and Saleef – in a first step towards implementing the Stockholm Agreement he brokered in December 2018.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #10

This is Crisis Group’s tenth update on recent developments in Yemen, focusing on al-Dhale in the south. A ceasefire in Hodeida notwithstanding, violence is on the rise on other key front lines and could undermine prospects for a future peace process.

Fighting between Huthi (Ansar Allah) and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces is intensifying in the southern governorate of al-Dhale. Battles have cut off key transit routes connecting the southern port city of Aden, the Huthi-held capital of Sanaa in the north, and the central governorate of Taiz, which houses important food processing, packaging and distribution facilities. If allowed to continue, the fighting could significantly deepen the country’s economic woes and further complicate efforts to revive a national peace process.…  Seguir leyendo »

A failed summit in Hanoi between the U.S. and North Korea has resulted in a diplomatic stalemate. In this excerpt from the first update of our Watch List 2019 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to utilise its neutral position to re-energise the ailing peace process and adopt measures to ease the plight of North Koreans.

The tensions between Washington and Pyongyang that flared dangerously in 2017 have significantly abated, but for the moment so have hopes for a breakthrough that would end decades of conflict. North Korea and the U.S. pivoted from escalation to dialogue in 2018, resulting in the first leader-level summit between the two states and agreement on a broad set of shared principles.…  Seguir leyendo »

A tense standoff in Jerusalem and simmering tensions between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have heightened the risk of violence and unrest. In this excerpt from the first update of our Watch List 2019 for European policymakers, Crisis Group outlines steps for the EU to help alleviate Gaza’s economic crisis and support the status quo in Jerusalem.

In the wake of Israel’s legislative elections, which appeared to hand another victory to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing partners (coalition negotiations are ongoing), the mood in the occupied Palestinian territories is tense. In Gaza, as in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires.…  Seguir leyendo »

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths makes a speech during the UN Security Council meeting on Yemen at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 14 December 2018. Atilgan Ozdil / Anadolu Agency

This is the ninth briefing note in Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. Notes are published fortnightly. This week, we return to the UN’s efforts to make the Hodeida agreement stick.

Trendline: Holdup in Hodeida

It is almost a year since an anticipated battle for the Red Sea port of Hodeida became the centre of gravity in Yemen’s civil war, as well as international efforts to end it.

In June 2018, Crisis Group described the conflict as having reached an inflection point. Along with other observers, we feared that a bloody battle between Huthi fighters in Hodeida and UAE-backed forces outside it would push the war into a new, more perilous phase and likely trigger a devastating famine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Combatir el crimen organizado ha sido el eje central de la plataforma de gobierno del presidente López Obrador, pero la tasa de homicidios de 2019 está alcanzando cotas máximas. En este extracto de la primera actualización de nuestra Watch List 2019 para políticos europeos, Crisis Group urge a la UE a apoyar el giro del gobierno mexicano hacia unas reformas integrales en materia de seguridad y el desarrollo de políticas orientadas hacia la construcción de paz.

El aumento de la tasa de delitos violentos sigue siendo la mayor amenaza para la seguridad pública y la estabilidad en México. En los últimos doce años, los grandes grupos delictivos se han fragmentado en grupos más pequeños, lo que ha desatado una gran cantidad de conflictos armados letales en diferentes regiones.…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinian protestors use slingshot to throw stones in response to Israeli intervention during a protest within the "Great March of Return" at Israel-Gaza border located near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on 5 April 2019. Hassan Jedi / ANADOLU AGENCY

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The Watch List Updates include situations identified in the annual Watch List and/or a new focus of concern.

Lowering Israeli-Palestinian Tensions

In the wake of Israel’s legislative elections, which appeared to hand another victory to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing partners (coalition negotiations are ongoing), the mood in the occupied Palestinian territories is tense. In Gaza, as in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires.…  Seguir leyendo »

People walk past a school, damaged during the ongoing war in Taiz, Yemen 18 December 2018. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub

This is the eighth briefing note in Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. This week, we explain why ending the internal conflict in Taiz should be a priority step toward national-level peacebuilding efforts.

Trendline: Trouble in Taiz

Taiz, Yemen’s largest pre-war manufacturing hub and cultural capital nestled in the country’s central highlands, is widely regarded by its inhabitants as a forgotten city. Any future political settlement will have to include a mechanism to end the struggle for Taiz, but internal wrangling among anti-Huthi forces may prove as much of a barrier to progress as their rivalry with the Huthis.

The site of some of the fiercest front-line fighting in the ongoing four-year war, Taiz was besieged by an erstwhile Huthi-Saleh alliance from 2015 until 2017 and has since connected to the outside world through a single, winding mountain road linking it with Turbah, a town 70 kilometres south.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child sits on a bed near a hut in an improvised camp for internally displaced people near Abs of the northwestern province of Hajja, Yemen February 18, 2019. Picture taken 18 February 2019. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

This is the seventh weekly briefing note as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. This week, we look at how tribal dynamics in the north could affect the stalled peace process.

Trendline: As Stockholm Stutters, a Tribal Showdown in Yemen’s North

As UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths continued to push for the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement to demilitarise the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, images circulated on social media on 4 March purporting to show Katyusha missiles hitting houses in Kushar, a small settlement in Yemen’s northern Hajja governorate.

The alleged Huthi missile strikes marked an escalation in a local conflict that has been gathering momentum for almost two months.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Venezuelan policeman stands in a cordon as Venezuelan citizens demand them to let the aid in, at the Simon Bolivar bridge, in Colombia after President Maduro's government ordered to temporary close down the border with Colombia on 23 February 2019. SCHNEYDER MENDOZA / AFP

Un mes después de que Juan Guaidó reclamara la presidencia interina y Washington impusiera sanciones al petróleo, la estrategia del ala dura de la oposición venezolana para destituir al presidente Nicolás Maduro no ha generado resultados inmediatos. Aunque se encuentra bajo una extrema presión financiera y a pesar de la decisión de docenas de países de transferir el reconocimiento de Maduro al líder de oposición Guaidó, el gobierno se rehúsa a entregar el poder. El enfoque de los opositores férreos, que se desarrolló con la colaboración de la administración de Trump, amenaza con empeorar la crisis de Venezuela en lugar de resolverla.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Yemeni man walks carrying food aid provided by a local charity to families affected by the ongoing conflict, in the capital Sanaa on 14 February 2019. MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP

This is the sixth weekly briefing note in Crisis Group’s Yemen campaign. This week, we look at how economic issues will affect future peacebuilding efforts.

Trendline: Putting Yemen to Work

Late February brought some hope to Yemen’s embattled population, large segments of which were on the verge of starvation at the end of 2018. The UN announced that it had both raised billions of dollars to pay for its humanitarian work over the coming year and had regained access to the Red Sea Mills, an important food storage and distribution hub outside the port city of Hodeida for the first time in five months.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is seen during a swearing in ceremony of new officials after he dissolved the central and state governments in Khartoum, Sudan February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

President Omar al-Bashir’s address to the nation on the evening of 22 February attempted to defuse the crisis that has engulfed his administration in the longest wave of protests in decades. Instead, the president’s words infuriated protesters and steered the confrontation, pitting the regime against a diffuse, still-peaceful protest movement into a new, more dangerous phase. Bashir spoke of the need for dialogue but in declaring a state of emergency, he placed more obstacles in the way of talks. He dissolved the government at the federal and provincial levels and, shortly after his speech, appointed security chiefs to head all 18 of the country’s regional states.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemeni soldiers guard during the meeting of the national assembly of Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council in Mukalla, Yemen 16 February 2019. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman

This is the fifth weekly briefing note in Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. This week, we look at how simmering tensions in the south of the country threaten the prospects for long-term peace, and give insight into ongoing attempts to demilitarise the country’s Red Sea trade corridor.

Trendline: Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council Isn’t Backing Down

As the UN makes progress on mediating a redeployment of rival fighters from areas in and around Hodeida on the Red Sea coast (see below), tensions in southern Yemen between the government of Yemen and secessionist groups continue to simmer with the potential to undermine any peace process that emerges in the north.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments.

Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border

Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Since the Hodeida ceasefire took effect in December, the battleground has partly shifted to the northern governorates around the Huthi rebels’ heartland of Saada.…  Seguir leyendo »

IDP camp in Yemen, 2018 CRISISGROUP/Peter Salisbury

This is Crisis Group’s third weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. The trend we identify in this edition is new hope for a political compromise to end the four-year-old civil war and ease the country’s grave humanitarian crisis.

Trendline: A Shift to the Political in 2019?

After a year of unrelenting military pressure along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, there are some indications that the Saudi-led coalition may be pivoting toward a greater recognition that a political compromise is needed to end the war. Military pressure succeeded in bringing the Huthis to the table, the coalition argues, but a different toolkit will be needed to end the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas between Kyiv and Moscow-backed separatists will soon begin its sixth year. Its resolution seems ever further away. While death counts and civilian casualties in Donbas are down, a new flashpoint in the Sea of Azov adds another potentially explosive layer to hostilities between Ukraine and Russia. The Minsk II agreement that sets forth a way out of the conflict and which both sides signed in 2015 remains unfulfilled, with Moscow unwilling to withdraw its troops and material from separatist-held areas of Donbas, and Kyiv seemingly uninterested in devolving power to those areas or taking other steps that could prepare for the reintegration of the territory it has been battling for.…  Seguir leyendo »

Divisions within Tunisia’s political leadership are preventing the government from addressing the country’s political and socio-economic challenges. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to support measures that will prevent further polarisation.

Tunisia’s political transition is in trouble. Hopes that the country’s post-uprising leadership would successfully tackle its myriad of political and socio-economic challenges have started to dim. The economy is in the doldrums and the political leadership is increasingly split between Islamists and non-Islamists, both competing for control of state resources. This confluence of problems is stirring a general crisis of confidence in the political elite, and there is reason to fear that the country may backslide from its post-2011 democratic opening ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls at the end of the year.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man carries aid from WFP's monthly food distribution on 9 May 2018, in Al Misrakh Distric, Taiz Governorate. WFP/Ahmed Basha

This is Crisis Group’s second weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. Prefaced with a new introductory trendline – this week, fear of famine – it provides up-to-the minute insights into the four-year-old civil war and the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

The Present Context

For more than six months the primary focus for diplomats, policymakers and analysts working on Yemen has been the now-frozen offensive on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. (You can read our analysis of why Hodeida is important here, and what was in the agreement here. The UN, which brokered the deal, has since struggled to turn the agreement into a reality.…  Seguir leyendo »

Destroyed buildings in the Mansoora district of Aden, Yemen. Mansoora suffered from heavy fighting between advancing Huthis and Saudi-led coalition forces defending the city in 2015. CRISISGROUP

As part of its Yemen Campaign, Crisis Group will be publishing a weekly update on Yemen, providing up-to-the minute insight and analysis of the latest events in the country’s four-year-old civil war, which has sparked the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. This is the first update.

The Present Context:

For more than six months the primary focus for diplomats, policy makers and analysts working on Yemen has been the now-frozen offensive on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. Then, in December, the Yemeni government and Huthi rebels who overthrew the government’s leader, President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in January 2015, agreed to a deal, the so-called Stockholm Agreement, that prevented a battle for the port and city.…  Seguir leyendo »