Last week in the Middle East, political violence increased in Yemen to reach its highest level since the start of…
ACLED has launched the Yemen Truce Monitor to support analysis of conflict trends during the first month of the truce and allow users to track future violations as they are reported. The interactive tool is updated weekly with the latest data.
March 2022 marked seven years since Saudi Arabia and other regional powers launched a military intervention in Yemen to restore the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi after forces from the Houthi-Saleh alliance took over the country’s capital in September 2014. The war has deeply fragmented the country, with the emergence of a wide range of armed groups and competing political actors. ACLED estimates that more than 155,000 people have died as a direct result of the violence as of March 2022, including more than 15,000 civilians killed in targeted attacks.
On 1 April 2022, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced that the parties to the conflict — referring to the Houthis and the Hadi government (International Crisis Group, 8 April 2022) — had agreed to a renewable two-month truce to take effect on 2 April. The truce includes a halt to all offensive military operations inside and outside of Yemen, the entry of fuel ships into Hodeidah ports, the opening of Sanaa airport to certain commercial flights, and discussions on improving road access to Taizz and other governorates (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 1 April 2022). UN Special Envoy Grundberg has, however, explicitly stated that the UN will not monitor the ceasefire (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 6 April 2022).
To help track the impact of the agreement, ACLED has created the Yemen Truce Monitor, an interactive tool displaying the latest data on reported violations. The tool is updated every Tuesday with data from the previous week.
Alongside the new truce, conflict parties engaged in a number of peace initiatives throughout March and into April 2022. In early March, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Grundberg started several weeks of consultations with Yemeni stakeholders to inform the development of his Framework for Yemen – a multitrack process towards attaining a sustainable political settlement (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 7 March 2022). Later in the month, the Gulf Cooperation Council hosted Yemeni-Yemeni consultations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a parallel initiative that was welcomed by Grundberg (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 30 March 2022). This represented the first time since the 2016 Kuwait peace talks that such a wide range of Yemeni actors met face-to-face to discuss a political solution to the conflict. The Houthis refused to take part in the Riyadh consultations, however, citing that they were not held in a “neutral” country (Yemen News Agency (SABA), 16 March 2022).
On the ground, the Riyadh consultations were preceded by successive announcements of unilateral cessations of military operations. After conducting one of their largest waves of drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the Houthis announced the cessation of military operations for three days starting on 27 March (Ansar Allah, 26 March 2022; Ansar Allah, 27 March 2022). The Saudi-led coalition followed suit after it carried out retaliatory airstrikes on the Houthi-held cities of Hodeidah and Sanaa. The coalition announced that it would cease military operations for an undetermined period of time starting on 30 March to foster a positive environment for the Yemeni-Yemeni consultations in Riyadh and the holy month of Ramadan (Saudi Press Agency, 29 March 2022).
The final days of these consultations saw one of the most significant political developments in Yemen since the start of the conflict. On 7 April, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi dismissed Vice President Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar and delegated his executive powers to a newly established presidential council. The council is headed by former Interior Minister Rashad Al Alimi and includes seven other members. It brings together leaders from various anti-Houthi factions with significant sway on the ground (for more analysis on the council, see these reactions from senior experts of the Sana’a Center, ACLED’s partner). For now, opinions seem to diverge on whether the council, which was quickly dismissed by the Houthis as a Saudi internal affair irrelevant to Yemen (Twitter @Moh_Alhouthi, 7 April 2022), should focus on a political solution to the conflict or unite a military front against Houthi forces (International Crisis Group, 8 April 2022). The final statement of the Riyadh consultations, however, stresses the priority of a political solution and the need to give up the military option, as it acknowledges that previous attempts at military solutions have failed (Yemeni-Yemeni Consultations, 7 April 2022).
The Yemen Truce Monitor provides near real-time data for use by media, analysts, policymakers, and the public to track key conflict developments during the ceasefire. It is updated once a week, on Tuesdays, with data covering events from the previous Saturday through Friday. The data will reflect the best available information at the time of release. Following publication, we will continue monitoring the details of all events and will update the data accordingly as new or better information becomes available (with updates published on a weekly basis).
The Yemen Truce Monitor allows users to track violations of the agreement to “halt … all offensive ground, aerial, and maritime military operations, inside and outside of Yemen” (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 6 April 2022). The tool identifies truce violations as direct armed interactions between opposing armed groups,1These include actors affiliated with the Houthi government on one side, and the Hadi government, the Southern Transitional Council (STC), and the Saudi-led coalition, on the other side. as well as acts of remote violence — that may or may not hit a military target — including shelling, airstrikes, and drone strikes.2The monitor does not include the ‘Remote explosive/landmine/IED’ sub-event type as a truce violation. In the vast majority of cases, events from this sub-event type will be caused by devices planted before the truce.
The Yemen Truce Monitor does not track events that are the result of infighting between different actors from the same side of the conflict. Moreover, it does not record potential violations of a “freeze in current military positions on the ground” (Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, 6 April 2022), such as the digging of trenches or the building of fortifications (for more on ACLED’s methodology, see the ACLED Codebook).
In addition to monitoring truce violations, the tool also provides a secondary dashboard that tracks the wider state of the conflict in Yemen and displays information on overall levels of organized political violence and violence targeting civilians since the start of ACLED coverage in January 2015. Users can find further analysis of the latest conflict trends in our weekly Regional Overviews.
Information & Analysis
Analysis of conflict and protest trends since the announcement of the truce at the start of April 2022.