After the civil war in 1994, a joint defense was created based on selective military duty with an initial service of two years. In recent times, fighting has re-emerged in the northern provinces between government forces and an unknown number of rebel forces.
The defense encompasses (2010) 66,000 men and is organized into 31 brigades, 20 smaller fighters and 79 fighter aircraft. Half-military security forces amount to 71,000 men. The material is for the most part outdated and of Soviet origin. In recent years, some modern equipment of American origin has been added.
Defense costs decreased in 1985-2008 from 9.9 percent to 6.4 percent of GDP. Yemen participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Ivory Coast (UNOCI), Liberia (UNMIL), Sudan (UNAMID, UNMIS) and Western Sahara (MINURSO). To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that YEM stands for Yemen.
Saudi Arabia killed in October 140 at a funeral ceremony in Sana’a and wounded 525. The plane attack prompted the United States to consider its continued support for the Riyadh regime. (US says support for Saudi Arabia not a ‘blank check’ after Yemen air raid, Guardian 9/10 2016; ‘Heinous crime against humanity’: how Saudi airstrikes have devastated Yemen, Guardian 15/10 2016).
In January 2017, the death toll of Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen passed 10,000 according UN. The figure was low and did not include the indirect deaths caused by the war that has almost caused the health care system to collapse.
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From the beginning of 2017, the cholera epidemic took off. A consequence of the Saudi bombing had destroyed the water supply. Over half of the population therefore does not have access to clean drinking water. The first case of cholera was registered in October 2016. By July, the number of cases registered had passed 1500. However, the actual number was probably far higher as many deaths were not recorded. While the Western world was running an intense campaign in late 2016 under the slogan “Aleppo bleeds”, referring to the suffering of civilians during the fighting of jihadists in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Western media was absent about the much larger humanitarian disaster in Yemen. (Yemen’s cholera death toll climbs to 1,500 as WHO issues strongly warning new cases have increased tenfold, Independent 3/7 2017)
The heads of three UN agencies, WFP, UNICEF and WHO issued a joint statement in November in light of the disaster in Yemen. In the statement, UN organizations called on Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade of Yemen’s ports. The blockade will prevent disaster relief from entering the country and will cost an unknown number of thousands of Yemenites if not raised. Even if the blockade is partially lifted, WFP estimated that another 3.2 million. people would fall prey to hunger in the following months, and 150,000 malnourished children were in immediate danger of dying the following months. Save the Child estimated that 50,000 children had died in 2017 through November. The European Parliament adopted an opinion condemning the Saudi blockade, while European arms manufacturers continued to supply weapons to the rogue state. (Saudi must lift Yemen blockade or ‘untold’ thousands will die, UN agencies warn, Guardian 16/11 2017; Saudi Arabia still barring aid to Yemen despite pledge to lift siege, Guardian 24/11 2017)
A new government was formed, half consisting of GPC ministers, half the opposition representatives. A partisan opposition politician was appointed prime minister, but no real regime change meant that. When a formal presidential election was held in February 2012, Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi (born 1945) was the only candidate. The unrest showed no signs of deceiving, despite Saleh’s departure. On the one hand, the regime’s grip on the country had further weakened during the past year’s unrest, and on the other, there were suspicions within the protest movement that Saleh would remain on the scene.
In March 2013, a dialogue conference was launched on the future of Yemen. Representatives of the country’s various power groups and religious minorities were called in to jointly draft a new constitution. After lengthy negotiations, it was decided to transform Yemen into a federation with six regions to meet the demands for increased self-government from separatists in the north and south. The result was not accepted by either the Houthis in the North or the Southern Movement, and instead of mitigating the contradictions, conflicts in the country increased.