The Yemen Civil War, also known as the Yemeni Crisis, is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015. It is a complex, multi-sided conflict involving various factions, each with their own political goals, ideologies, and foreign backers. The conflict has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe, with millions of people displaced, thousands killed, and widespread famine and disease.

Origins of the Yemen Civil War:

The Arab Spring protests

The Yemen Civil War has its roots in the Arab Spring protests that swept across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. In Yemen, the protests led to the ouster of longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been in power for over three decades. Saleh was replaced by his vice president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was elected president in 2012.

Economic and Political challenges

However, Hadi’s presidency was marred by economic and political challenges, as well as corruption allegations. These challenges created a power vacuum that was exploited by various groups, including the Houthis, a Shia Islamist group based in the north of the country.

The Houthis

The Houthis, who had long been marginalized by the government, took advantage of the chaos to seize control of the capital, Sana’a, in 2014. They then proceeded to expand their control to other parts of the country, including Aden, the country’s second-largest city.

Causes of the Yemen Civil War:

The Yemen Civil War is a complex conflict that involves multiple factors and actors.

Some of the main causes of the conflict are:
  1. Sectarian tensions: Yemen is a deeply divided country, with Sunni Muslims making up the majority and Shia Muslims comprising a significant minority. The Houthis, who are Shia, have long felt marginalized by the government, which is dominated by Sunnis.
  2. Regional rivalries: The conflict in Yemen is also fueled by regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-majority country, sees the Houthis as an Iranian proxy and has launched a military intervention in support of the Yemeni government. Iran, for its part, denies arming the Houthis and accuses Saudi Arabia of meddling in Yemen’s affairs.
  3. Economic challenges: Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world, with high levels of poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity. These economic challenges have contributed to the country’s instability and provided fertile ground for the conflict to take root.

Consequences of the Yemen Civil War:

The Yemen Civil War has had disastrous consequences for the country and its people.

Some of the main consequences are:
  1. Humanitarian crisis: The conflict has led to a massive humanitarian crisis, with millions of people in need of food, shelter, and medical care. According to the United Nations, the war has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.
  2. Famine: The conflict has also led to widespread famine, with millions of people facing severe food shortages. The UN has warned that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic famine, with more than 16 million people at risk of starvation.
  3. Disease outbreak: The war has also led to the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and COVID-19. Yemen is particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks due to its weak healthcare system and poor sanitation. The cholera outbreak, which began in 2016, has affected over 2.5 million people and claimed thousands of lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to the crisis, with the healthcare system already overwhelmed and the population facing severe food insecurity.
  4. Displacement: The conflict has forced millions of people to flee their homes, with many seeking refuge in other parts of the country or in neighboring countries. The displacement has led to overcrowding in camps and settlements, exacerbating the risk of disease outbreaks and other health concerns.


The Yemen Civil War is a devastating conflict that has caused untold suffering for the Yemeni people. The conflict’s origins can be traced back to the Arab Spring protests of 2011, which led to the ouster of longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The conflict’s causes are numerous and complex, including sectarian tensions, regional rivalries, and economic challenges. The war’s consequences have been catastrophic, with millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance, widespread famine and disease, and millions displaced from their homes.

Resolving the conflict will require a concerted effort from all parties involved, as well as the international community, to address the underlying causes of the conflict and provide much-needed assistance to the Yemeni people.

Here are some resources and web links related to the Yemen Civil War that you may find useful:

  1. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Yemen:
  2. Yemen Data Project:
  3. Al Jazeera Yemen Coverage:
  4. Amnesty International Yemen:
  5. Crisis Group Yemen:
  6. The Guardian Yemen Coverage:
  7. Yemen Peace Project:

Other Links

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