Yemen, an impoverished nation of 25 million people, has been plagued by Islamist insurgency, separatist conflict, sectarian strife and economic crisis for many years. An “Arab Spring” popular uprising in 2011 led to the downfall of previous president, resulting in even more chaos.
The Houthis rebels originated in the north of Yemen, and are drawn from a large Shi’ite minority that ruled a 1,000-year kingdom in Yemen until 1962. They stormed into the capital in September 2014, but had held back from directly challenging President Hadi up until last week.
Then, on Monday, street battles broke out between Houthis rebels and government forces in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Talks between President Hadi and representatives of the Houthis rebels broke down as the Houthis rejected a draft constitution dividing Yemen into six regions. Businesses and embassies closed as the clashes continued all day, ending with a tentative ceasefire on Monday night. However, Tuesday brought an escalation of violence as Houthis rebels shelled the presidential palace and seized the state-run media.
The Houthis accuse the president of seeking to bypass a power-sharing deal signed in September, and say they are also working to protect state institutions from corrupt civil servants and officers trying to plunder state property.
However, there is also a third player in this complicated political and tribal conflict, that player being Al Qaeda. Both President’s Hadi’s government and the Houthi rebels are opposed to this terrorist organization and many fear that the clashes between government forces and Houthi rebels may actually strengthen Al Qaeda’s position. The wave of violence engulfing this poorest country in the Arab world could possibly reshape its political landscape for many years to come.
- Christian Believers in Yemen to stand firm in their faith and to be bold as they continue to witness to others about the love, peace, protection, and eternal life found in Jesus Christ .
- President Hadi and his government to negotiate an agreeable compromise with the Houthis that will benefit all of Yemen’s tribal interests
- For the government and Houthi rebels to work together in countering Al Qaeda’s influence.
- For a lasting peace and political stability to come to this troubled land
Source: Aljazeera.com, Window International Network – win1040.com