Tension in Yemen

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Bharat Gehlot, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

Yemen is an Arab country in southwest Asia. Currently, it is going through very tough phase, probably the worst phase. Due to this, almost all countries have declared it as an unsafe country to travel and for those who are stranded, their evacuation process has been initiated. By India only, around 1350 people have been evacuated till date, reports The Hindu on 5th April.

Yemen is strategically very important country because it controls the major region of the Red sea from where much of the world’s oil shipments pass.  Therefore, any instability in the region will have major repercussions on the rest of the world.

The recent tension in the region has been escalated mainly due to bloody war between two groups. One is the government, which is controlled by the president Hadi and the other one is the rebellion group known as Houthis, who forced Mr Hadi to flee the capital Sanaa in February. There is a third angle to it too. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) opposes both the groups and carries out deadly attacks from its stronghold regions.

The stability in the region is of prime importance. If situation further deteriorates, its impact will not be limited to this particular region of Asia only. For instance, if AQAP gains control, it can be a potential threat to the western countries because it is considered to be the most advanced branch of Al-Qaeda.

Apart from the problems in the country due to terrorist activities, Yemen is also facing oil and water shortage problem, and problem of poverty. Government’s 75% of income comes from the oil exports. Oil in Yemen is expected to last only few years. So, government’s income is going to hit very badly in years to come. In addition to that, Sanaa- Capital of Yemen- is expected to become first capital to run out of water in the entire history of mankind.

The percentage of poor population is also rising rapidly. Forget about the jobs, even living condition are very bad. As a result, many people have started fleeing towards the neighbouring countries and there, these people are, literally, at their mercy.

It is quite clear from the situation that Yemen is not in position to fight any kind of war. Instead, it should focus its efforts on finding ways to improve the lives of its citizens. But, it seems, Yemen can’t do this alone. The situation is out of control. Countries from the west have to come forward while keeping their agendas aside. The role of neighbouring countries is very crucial. They must help Yemen in maintaining peace, otherwise this country will become an area where terrorist organisation will further flourish.

In the last, what I have to say is, all of us have to come together as humans, neither as a county nor as any religious group. Then only, we will be able to solve the problems before it gets acute.