Shia Houthi Forces in Yemen Seek Greater Representation
Salma Zribi, Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Gulf powers continue to play their geopolitical games in the Levant, Iraq, North Africa, and increasingly in parts of Central Africa. Despite this, it currently appears that Shia Houthi forces are increasing their hold on the power mechanisms of Sanaa. This reality, just like independent Syria refusing to cave in to Gulf and NATO intrigues, is further evidence that a different clock is ticking throughout the Middle East. Therefore, it remains to be seen if a Takfiri Salafi backlash will be funded with greater urgency in Yemen by regional Gulf powers, in order to stop the changing sands sweeping this nation.
Political corruption and the marginalization of the Shia meant that tensions in the past witnessed serious tensions. The results being many deaths of innocents and outside meddling of nations like Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the Shia Houthis claim that internal political intrigues aimed at keeping them down led to al-Qaeda forces being supported by centralized ratlines emanating in Sanaa.
The BBC reports: “Yemen’s embattled president has reached a peace deal with Shia Houthi rebels occupying key points in the capital Sanaa, reports say … President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s office said major concessions had been offered to the rebels, who took over his palace and surrounded his home.”
Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Shia Houthi forces, made it clear that a coup is not currently underway. However, he stated on television that many political elites in Yemen had alienated the people of this country based on political shenanigans.
The Independent (UK media group) states: “Mr Houthi said the Yemeni government had abandoned the aims of a national agreement made in September last year. The weakening of Mr Hadi, a top US ally, undermines efforts by America and its allies to battle al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, which claimed responsibility for the attack on a Paris satirical magazine earlier this month. Washington has long viewed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or Aqap, as the global terror network’s most dangerous affiliate. In New York, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on the chaos.”
On Monday fierce clashes had erupted between government forces and Shia Houthis in the vicinity of the presidential palace. Yet it currently appears that government forces are back peddling – or, internal political forces are undermining the current president. Either way, it is more than apparent that Shia Houthis believe that the pendulum is in their favor whereby new changes can be made.
Abdul Malik al-Houthi stated: “Our movement is not going to uproot any political powers. We are here to serve the country and not target the Yemeni people.”
He further continued that: “Our escalation will go slow if they start implementing the [unapproved] deal. If not, all options are open… We move in studied steps. We do not want the country to collapse.”
America will likely play a waiting game but it remains to be seen what outside Gulf powers will do. The fear is that sectarian forces will be supported by outside regional powers if the changing sands are deemed against their respective interests. In other words, Yemen may yet be hostage to forces that favor instability, rather than greater equilibrium within the power mechanisms of Yemen.
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