International Crises Group: Houthis getting stronger

International Crisis Group said that the international policy approach towards resolving the Yemen crisis is restricted by two parties wok, that may no longer make sense and has done little to mitigate two main factors, on the ground that are still preventing a solution to the conflict: the empowerment of Houthis and the fragmentation of the government.

The group recommended changing the general approach to diagnosing the Yemeni crisis, by not limiting it to Houthis and legitimacy sides, but expanding that to include parties that are more Yemeni.

The group’s report pointed out that the facts on the ground have changed significantly since 2018, as the unity of the anti-Houthi groups collapsed, their morale collapsed, and international policymakers grew discontent with Hadi government.

The report said: Diplomats working in the Yemen file are disturbed by the parties’ intransigence, frustration at the decline of Hadi government’s credibility, and the obstruction due to the lack of tools at their disposal to accelerate them all time, especially Houthis, towards a political settlement.

He added: The consensus is growing in some diplomatic circles that the acceptable framework no longer reflects the facts on the ground and may not be able to end the war and build peace. Houthi-Saleh alliance and Hadi government were relatively identical in 2016, but after Houthis killed Saleh, they became stronger, while Hadi was no longer able to claim in representing the majority of anti-Houthi bloc.

The report added: Even if Houthis and Hadi reach an agreement, it is not clear whether the full range of armed and political groups that control areas in Yemen outside Houthi-controlled territories will support its implementation. Moreover, Houthis will be the main beneficiaries of talks with unequal negotiating partner has no little of legitimacy among the major groups on the ground.