International Relations Prelims cum Mains

Arab group wants India on board in Yemen

The News

  • The Arab coalition which is fighting to secure the strategic Yemeni port of Hodeidah will be reaching out to India for its support.



  • Yemen was a poor country with a government widely acknowledged to be corrupt, with large amount of weapons in private hands.
  • Yemen had only been unified since 1990, and deep divisions persisted between the north and the south.
  • By 2011, the country was facing challenges from Al- Qaeda linked militants and separatists in the south and Zaydi Shia rebels in the north.
  • The Yemeni Civil War began in 2015 between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government.
  • Houthi forces, which are loyal to the former President, have clashed with forces loyal to the current government. Basically, the conflict is between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Yemen.
  • The Houthi forces captured the Yemen capital Sana.
  • Other agencies are also involved in the confict, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
  • Internal rivalries even emerged in the coalition set up by Saudi Arabia to back Hadi. Riyadh and its main ally, the United Arab Emirates, differed over local allies and tactics
  • A coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using airstrikes to restore the Yemeni government which is overthrown by Houthi.
  • Yemen’s port of Hodeidah was under the control of the Houthi rebels who are believed to be drawing support from Iran.
  • The Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, claims that the Iranian military has used the port to supply the Houthis with weapons and ammunition.
  • The military campaign on the port of Hodeidah is reportedly in the final phase as the Houthi militia members are retreating.
  • The UN Security Council voted against an immediate end to hostilities in the port.
  • According to the UN, from March 2015 to March 2017, 16,200 people have been killed in Yemen, including 10,000 civilians.
  • The war and its economic effects are driving the largest food security emergency in the world with more than 17 million people facing dire food shortages. Nearly seven million of those are one step away from famine in Yemen.
  • The situation has been worsened by a cholera outbreak in the country that has claimed 1,5000 lives, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).



Why India should support in securing the strategic Yemeni port of Hodeidah?

  • The request for support from India, has added a broader context to the upcoming visit by the Foreign Minister and leading royal of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullh bin Zayed, who is expecting to hold bilateral meetings in Delhi next week.
  • The operation at Hodeidah would secure the energy lanes of India with the Gulf.
  • It will help India in fighting terrorism.
  • Houthis have been supporting pirates in the western Indian Ocean region. The campaign will ultimately help Indian maritime goals as the Houthis used the port for facilitating the piracy network in the western Indian Ocean region that is vital for India’s energy security.

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