Yemen has undergone substantial economic, political, and social developments during the last four decades. Notably, there were uprisings in North Yemen in September 1962 against the imamate and in South Yemen in October 1973 against British colonial administration. Conflicts between the North and South erupted throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Despite these difficulties, regional and international pressures, as well as continuous national discussions, played a part in Yemen’s unification in May 1990, resulting in the establishment of the Republic of Yemen.
In the 1990s, Yemen experienced significant political changes, including the reunification of northern and southern regions, economic domination by the North, and opposition movements. The North launched military operations to retake the South, leading to a brief civil war in 1994. President Ali Abdullah Saleh led the reunification. In the early 2000s, Yemen focused on border agreements and internal challenges, reaching a demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia in 2000. Tensions escalated, leading to the Houthi rebellion in 2004, resulting in sporadic clashes and intermittent peace attempts. In 2011, Yemen experienced protests leading to President Saleh’s ousting and Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s re-assumption. In 2014, Houthi rebels seized Sanaa, escalating conflict. Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia, prompting a Saudi-led coalition intervention. Yemen’s civil war stems from a long-standing conflict, corruption, and tribal divides. Factors contributing to the conflict include fragmented social contracts, national identity crises, weak economy, depleted natural resources, and arbitrary rule of law. UN efforts focus on ending the military conflict without clear political settlement or transition framework.
The crisis in Yemen is complicated by power struggles, religious differences, and racial tensions. The civil war between southern and northern Yemeni forces stems from leaders’ unwillingness to resolve differences through democratic means. Radical ethnic groups refuse to accept democratic practices, and the country struggles to overcome its history of authoritarian rule. Despite strong support for democracy, widespread public backing remains elusive. Yemen’s political issues, including poverty and worsening living conditions, are causing a humanitarian crisis. To address these issues, Yemen should adopt legal methods like discussions, democracy, and federalism, considering its internal situation, culture, religion, and ethnic groups.
The following facts should be considered in order to restore Yemen.
1. Constitutional Reform Implementing a new constitution is vital, ensuring it’s based on democracy, federalism, and includes term limits for the president and parliament.
2. Holding Free and Fair Elections Yemen should prioritize holding long-delayed elections as a means to address political issues, promote political party freedom, and ensure broad representation.
3. Media Freedom and Transparency Fostering media freedom and transparency is crucial to inform the public and uphold democratic values.
4. Civil Society Involvement Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a critical role in promoting democracy and should be supported in their efforts.
5. Economic Reforms Yemen’s dire economic situation requires structural reforms to stabilize the economy, mitigate the humanitarian crisis, and alleviate poverty.
In summary, Yemen faces a complex web of political, economic, and social challenges. Addressing these issues will require comprehensive reforms, active international engagement, and the commitment of all stakeholders to establish a stable and inclusive democracy.