The Southern Transitional Council and the War in Yemen

Consolidating Power in the Unified Southern Territories

by Susanne Dahlgren | published April 26, 2018

In late January this year, an armed conflict erupted in Aden between troops under command of President ‘Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and those loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC), both in principle on the same side of the Yemeni war. The fighting left more than 40 people dead and several wounded. The conflict raised speculations of a crack in the Saudi-led coalition that since March 2015 has waged war in Yemen. In Saudi political rhetoric, the war aims at bringing Hadi back to power as “the legitimate president.” Yet the Emiratis, a coalition partner, have in multiple ways contributed to the military and political strength of the southern opposition to Hadi’s regime.

Radix Malorum est Cupiditas

by James Spencer | published April 3, 2018

The last three years have been a time of outright misery for most Yemenis as War, Pestilence, Famine and Death have stalked what used to be known as Arabia Felix. Thousands are recorded as having been killed; tens of thousands more are known to have died.

What Kind of a War is the Yemen War?

by Martha Mundy | published March 27, 2018

This short note poses three questions central to understanding the nature and meaning of the Yemen war. These concern the strategy of the Coalition war itself, the structure of legal reference, and the forms of information concerning the war. The three fields intersect. 

Strategy

The Yemen war is about to enter a fourth year; thus the strategy of the Coalition, which controls Yemen’s airspace and sea-space (alongside the Combined Maritime Forces and from May 2016 the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism), has moved through several stages. [1]

Sisi’s Plebiscitary Election

by Mona El-Ghobashy | published March 25, 2018

Since January, international media and rights groups have decried the escalating repression ahead of Egypt’s March 26-28 presidential election.

April 2018 Event: The Latin East - An International Conference

published February 20, 2018

At the height of Latin America’s “pink tide” in the mid-2000s, left wing governments throughout the region developed unprecedented economic, political, and cultural ties with the Arab world as part of a larger effort to disrupt U.S. hegemony globally. Meanwhile in the Middle East, entrenched power regimes seemed to teeter against a wave of social and political movements broadly identified as the Arab Spring. Today, as the Pink Tide recedes and renewed conflict and authoritarianism grips the Middle East, the time is ripe to consider the origins, contours, and legacies of a relationship forged in a moment of deep regional and global flux, between parts of the world infrequently considered side by side.

The Story Behind the Rise of Turkey’s Ulema

by Ceren Lord | published February 4, 2018

At the heart of the controversy over Islamization in Turkey has been the accelerated rise and visibility of the Islamic scholars or clergy known as the ulema. Despite the ostensibly secular nature of the republic, the majority of Turkey’s ulema are employed by the state’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı). The directorate is the country’s chief Islamic authority and holds a legal monopoly on Muslim religious life and activity.

Yemen Dispatch

by Stacey Philbrick Yadav | published January 30, 2018

The eruption of fighting by rival factions in Yemen’s southern city of Aden on January 28 provides distressing additional evidence that Yemen’s war is best understood as a series of mini-wars reflecting the intersection of diverse domestic drivers of conflict and Gulf regional fragmentation. [1] Eyes are turned to Aden and the conflict between the government of displaced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, on the one hand, and the UAE-backed secessionist Southern Transitional Council on the other, which the government has accused of staging a coup. At the same time, there are at least six distinct zones of conflict around the country, each with its own antagonists and external patrons.

How the Houthis Became “Shi‘a”

by Anna Gordon , Sarah E. Parkinson | published January 27, 2018

On December 4, 2017, Houthi rebels in Yemen killed ‘Ali ‘Abdallah Salih, their erstwhile ally and the country’s former president. It was a dramatic reversal: Parts of the national army loyal to Salih had fought alongside the Houthis for nearly three years in Yemen’s ongoing civil war. But shortly before his death Salih turned against the Houthis, making overtures to their opponents, the Yemeni administration-in-exile led by President ‘Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and its backers in the wealthy Gulf Arab monarchies, primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A “Blue” Generation and Protests in Iran

by Aghil Daghagheleh , Zakia Salime | published January 22, 2018

On Friday, December 29, 2017, a protest suddenly broke out in the shrine city of Mashhad, one of Iran’s major urban centers located in the northeast of the country. Although evidence indicates that the protests were prompted by hardliners in order to undermine President Hassan Rouhani, they rapidly spread across the country and spun out of any one faction’s control. Most international mainstream media were quick to point out that these were the largest and most significant Iranian protests since the Green Movement, the youth-driven protests that emerged after the contested 2009 presidential election.

Onwards and Upwards with Women in the Gulf

by Andrew Leber , Charlotte Lysa | published January 11, 2018

Change is afoot for Saudi Arabia’s female citizens, or so suggests much commentary about events over the past few years. There was the first election in which women could vote, the first public concert by a female performer, and soon (if all goes according to plan) for the first time Saudi women will be able to drive on the streets of Riyadh and elsewhere in the kingdom. All have garnered their share of headlines.

MERIP Is Hiring

published January 11, 2018

The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) seeks a full-time Executive Director/Editor to lead development of the quarterly magazine Middle East Report and its online presence. Building on MERIP’s nearly 50-year history as the leading independent, progressive print source for critically informed analyses of the Middle East, the new Executive Director/Editor will spearhead the upgrading of the publication, including its web presence, to meet the challenges of the contemporary era. They will do so in concert with a collective organizational vision recently developed by the Board of Directors in conversation with the larger MERIP collective.

Download the file below for more information on the position and how to apply.

Justice and/or Development

The Rif Protest Movement and the Neoliberal Promise

by Emilio Spadola | published December 24, 2017

What began in late October 2016 with protests over the horrific death of Mohcine Fikri, a fish seller in the northern city of Al Hoceima, escalated in 2017 into a broad social protest movement with participants in all of Morocco’s major cities. The Hirak al-Rif movement, so named for Al Hoceima’s mountainous and coastal Rif province, draws symbolism and strength from the region’s painful history of state violence, deprivation and insult.

Support MERIP

published December 24, 2017

Thank you for supporting MERIP as we begin our 47th year.
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Seeing Past the Rain of Light

Louvre Abu Dhabi and the UAE Art Scene

by Elizabeth Derderian | published December 12, 2017

On November 11, 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates opened its doors to the public, nearly ten and a half years after the initial announcement of the project. Social media was awash with pictures of visitors in the rays of sun filtering into the main atrium, in what the museum’s architect, Jean Nouvel, called a “rain of light.” The fact that a significant repercussion of the museum’s establishment was felt long before it opened was lost in the flurry of self-portraits taken under the signature dome. The 2007 declaration of plans for the museum triggered important changes in the Gulf art scene.

A Century of Refusal

Palestinian Opposition to the Balfour Declaration

by Lori Allen | published November 17, 2017

On the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, there has been a flurry of commentary about the controversial announcement, contained in a letter sent by British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. A Conservative parliamentarian, Rothschild was also a leading British advocate for the establishment of a Jewish nation-state in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire.