Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen

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Tribes in Yemen: Dominant, but not a Single Bloc | ISPI

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Table of Contents for: Tribes, government, and history in Yemen

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Enter your email address below and we will send you your username. Indeed, in tribal Yemen, all politics are local: the Houthi know this very well.

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The Houthi are not tribesmen, but the Houthi leaders hail from the far north where tribalism is dominant , and they know the tribes, their history, and their politics intimately. This intimate knowledge allowed the Houthi to very carefully redraw the lines of tribal politics to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the Saudis[1]. The Saudi leadership was most irritated with the Houthi not so much because Iran supported them, but because the Houthi overthrew the constellation of tribal alliances in the north that the Saudis depended upon for influence inside Yemen.

The Saudis regard their loss of leverage in Yemen as a critical threat to the Kingdom, a menace that the Houthi obligingly realize by launching missiles into Riyadh. The Houthi reordering of tribal politics in the north was accompanied by an attack on the Islah party. But the undermining of the wider apparatus of the Islah party brought the Houthi out of the tribal north and into the national politics of Yemen. From Marib, Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar commands a Saudi backed military that pressures the Houthi from the east but has failed to advance into the mountainous highlands that surround Sanaa.

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Islah was further weakened by the Saudi and Emirati persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis and especially the Emiratis fear the use of Islam by their domestic political opponents and have set out to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen

For Hadi, Islah is an ally not only in the eastern desert of Marib but also in the south and in Taiz, because Islah insists upon Yemeni unity and rejects calls for southern secession, as does Hadi. True, the initial hero of the resistance against the Houthi in Aden was Naif al-Bakri , an Islah supporter who Hadi appointed governor of Aden in recognition of his leadership.

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Southerners are particularly suspicious of Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, who commanded along with Hadi the northern invasion of the south in and who now leads the Saudi backed troops in Marib. From its dominant position in , Islah has been exiled from Houthi controlled territory and from the south and now remains strong only in Marib and Taiz.

The war tore the familiar political map of Yemen into unrecognizable pieces. Bin Dagher welcomed his former colleagues from the GPC despite their siding with the Houthi for three years. If a settlement ever manages to revive political life in Yemen, the participants and parties will be completely transformed, even if some of the same faces remain. Salta al contenuto principale. Charles Schmitz.

Hadi does retain the support of southerners opposed to the Southern Transitional Council and many others who see Hadi as the symbolic representative of opposition to the Houthi.