YEMEN CONFLICT: WILL THE GCC PAY AN ECONOMIC TOLL?
Will Saudi-led military action against Houthi rebels in Yemen have a major impact on oil prices and GCC economies as a whole?
THE CONFLICT IN Yemen has snowballed into a major humanitarian crisis according to the United Nations, with an estimated 1,820 people killed and 7,330 injured since March 19. Actual figures are anticipated to be much higher.
More than 545,000 people have also been displaced in Yemen since March 26, when Saudi Arabia along with a coalition of regional partners launched Operation Decisive Storm in order to help the Yemeni government combat the Houthis.
The Arab state first erupted into chaos after Iran-allied Houthi rebels captured the capital Sana’a in September, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. The ensuing violence, which broke out between the Houthis and forces loyal to the government, alarmed neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom, along with its allies from the GCC – UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar and the wider MEA region – Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan began the operation by conducting air strikes.
Since then the bloodshed has continued. Although a five-day ceasefire for humanitarian relief was held in May, hopes to prolong it were dashed with both sides resuming attacks soon after the truce ended.
The UN agreed to sponsor peaceful political dialogue between the Yemeni parties in Geneva on May 28, but the talks have now been postponed.
Saudi’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz, however, vowed that action against the rebels would continue until the country was “stable and safe” and the government under Hadi was restored to power.
“The excruciating reality of terrorism, internal conflicts and bloodshed experienced by a number of Arab countries are only the inevitable result