Yemen is in the grip of its most severe crisis in years. Fuelled by Arab and Western intervention, the civil war has quickly escalated, resulting in thousands killed and millions close to starvation. Suffering from a collapsed economy, the people of Yemen face a desperate choice between the Huthi rebels allied with ex-President Saleh on the one side and the internationally recognised government propped up by the Saudi-led coalition and Western arms on the other.
The struggle for power in the Arab world’s poorest but strategically vital nation has serious implications for the region and beyond. While Saudi Arabia and its allies fear that a Huthi takeover would threaten free passage of oil through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, Western governments fear an increase of attacks from al-Qa‘ida in the absence of effective governance.
In this invaluable analysis, Helen Lackner uncovers the roots of the social and political conflicts that threaten the very survival of the state and its people. She reveals the corruption of the country’s US-backed autocratic regime, as well as its failure to address national impoverishment and to plan an equitable economy for Yemen’s growing population.