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Yemen civil war

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April 21, 2023

Why in news?

Hundreds of war prisoners were released as agreed by Stockholm agreement signifying peace in the war ravaged Yemen.

What led to the civil war?

  • Arab Spring protests - The conflict in Yemen began in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring protests.
  • Economic and security problems - President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi when Yemen was having economic and social problems.
  • Houthis - Took advantage of the crisis in Yemen and captured Saada province in the north and then Sana’a, the capital of Yemen in 2014.
  • Houthis are backed by Iran government.
  • Saudi-led coalition - Being neighbour and its differences with the Iran led to Saudi-led coalition supporting pro Yemen government.
  • Saudi Arabia-led coalition, backed by the US includes other Arab countries and sent troops to Yemen in 2015.
  • Stockholm Agreement - It was signed in 2018 in which Yemen agreed to free conflict-related detainees/prisoners.
  • Two-month ceasefire - The civil war had ceased in April 2022, when the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition announced a two-month ceasefire ahead of Ramzan.
  • This was Yemen’s first nationwide truce in six years.

The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in Tunisia in response to corruption and economic stagnation.

yemen 2023

What is Stockholm Agreement?

  • The Stockholm agreement was signed by Yemen in 2018 to free conflict-related detainees.
  • The agreement brokered by the United Nations.
  • The 3 main components of the agreement are
    • The Hudayah agreement,
    • The prisoner exchange agreement and
    • The Taïz agreement.
  • The Hudayah agreement includes a ceasefire in the city of Hodeidah.
  • The prisoner exchange agreement is the release of prisoners by both sides.
  • The Taïz agreement includes the formation of a joint committee with participation from civil society and the UN.

What are the impacts of the civil war?

  • 80% of its population dependent on aid and protection
  • Over three million people have been displaced from their homes since 2015
  • Public service sectors like healthcare, water, sanitation, and education have either collapsed or are in a dire situation
  • Yemen has lost $90 billion in economic output and more than 6,00,000 people have lost their jobs
  • More than half of the country’s population is living in extreme poverty

According to the UN, Yemen is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Quick facts

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

  • ICRC was established in 1863.
  • ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war.
  • An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
  • ICRC is based in Geneva, Switzerland having its presence in more 100 countries including India.
  • The ICRC is funded mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.



  1. The Hindu│Yemen Civil War
  2. ICRC│About ICRC
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