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Stability in Yemen awaits deal on new political order

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Significance

This, combined with a conciliatory speech from Huthi leader Abd al-Malik al-Huthi, signals that a compromise may be negotiated to end the impasse triggered by the resignation of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah on January 22. They resigned after Huthi militants failed to withdraw from the presidential residence following clashes in Sana'a earlier in the week. At the root of the crisis is the Huthis' rapid emergence as the strongest single group in Yemen, and the need for new political arrangements to accommodate this.

Impacts

  • Failure to reach an agreement would increase the risk of state failure, fragmentation and a major humanitarian crisis.
  • The alliance between the Huthis and Saleh is purely tactical and is likely to collapse.
  • Al-Qaida will seek to exploit the vacuum to extend its military reach and popular appeal as the defender of Sunnis.
  • The Huthi advance has effectively annulled the transition deal agreed following the 2011 uprising.
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