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Daily Star: The World Can No Longer Afford to ignore Yemen's Internal Convulsions

Author: Brian O'Neill
October 19, 2009


Three local power struggles--the Houthi revolt in the north, the southern secessionist movement, and the pervasive threat of al-Qaeda--put Yemen's central government on "the brink of collapse".

Yemen, an ancient and remote place, has long been ignored by the media. Its oceans, deserts and mountains have greeted potential conquerors with hostility, and its confused and confusing politics have kept journalists at bay. Even to dedicated scholars of and in the Arab world, Yemen has been an exotic place. But recently, the convulsions driven by an inexorable pull of history have captured the attention of journalists, politicians and scholars. Frequently immune to history, Yemen is isolated no more.

The reasons why are known to anyone with a browsing familiarity with the daily papers. Yemen is currently being wrenched by three revolutions, independent of each other but with a common theme: the central government is more than illegitimate - it is antithetical to the nature and history of Yemen.

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