Event: The Biden Administration
A New Opening for Yemen?

February 2021

The Yemen Policy Center (YPC) is pleased to invite you to a virtual discussion,

“The Biden Administration: A New Opening for Yemen?” on February 11th, 2020, from 17:00-18:30 CET 

(11:00-12:30 EST; 16:00-17:30 GMT)

The election of President Joseph Biden could result in a significant shift in American policy on Yemen. Following four years of the Trump administration, which eschewed multilateralism and largely viewed the Yemen conflict through the prism of a regional, anti-Iran policy position, many have speculated that the Biden administration will shepherd a more focused, invigorated US effort to push for an end to the conflict.

What new policies will the Biden administration bring to bear on Yemen? What is the legacy of Trump-era policies in Yemen, most notably the last-minute designation of the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and how will they continue to affect the country? And how will a new round of beltway politics intersect with dynamics on the ground?

This conversation will be moderated by YPC’s research fellow Hadil Al-Mowafak, and will draw on analysis from:

Peter Salisbury, an International Senior Analyst for Yemen at the International Crisis Group, a research-based conflict prevention and resolution NGO. Peter was previously a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. He has more than 13 years of extensive experience as a print, online and broadcast journalist, political economy researcher and analyst.

Summer Nasser, a speaker and analyst on Yemeni affairs and is the CEO of Yemen Aid. Ms. Nasser has spoken alongside diplomats, officials and experts at different institutions across the United States and the United Nations. She has received multiple awards by international organizations, congress members and was awarded a Citation of Merit by the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr.

Elana DeLozier, a Rubin Family Fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where she specializes in Yemen, the Gulf states, and nuclear weapons and proliferation. Elana is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Ibrahim Jalal, a Non-Resident Scholar in the Gulf Affairs and Yemen Program at the Middle East Institute (MEI), a risk, security, conflict, stabilization and defence consultant and a co-founder of the Security Distillery Think Tank. His research mainly examines third-party peace processes in Yemen, Gulf security, the politics of military coalitions and armed non-state actors.

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References :

[1]YPC nationwide representative survey, April–July 2019. Data cited in this paper is drawn from this survey unless otherwise indicated.

[2] UN News “Humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, warns UN” Feb 2019. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1032811 (Accessed 3 March 2020).

[3] Wadhah Al-Awlaqi and Maged Al-Madhaji, Rethinking Yemen’s economy: Local governance in Yemen amid conflict and instability, July 2018. https://devchampions.org/files/Rethinking_Yemens_Economy_No2_En.pdf (Accessed 8 March 2020); Mansour Rageh, Amal Nasser, and Farea Al-Muslimi, “Yemen without a Functioning Central Bank: The Loss of Basic Economic Stabilization and Accelerating Famine,” Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, November 2016. http://sanaacenter.org/publications/main-publications/55 (Accessed 23 May 2018).

[4]Data source: OCHA, “Humanitarian needs overview 2019: Yemen”, December 2018. https://yemen.un.org/sites/default/files/2019-08/2019_Yemen_HNO_FINAL.pdf (Accessed 11 March 2020).

[5] Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen, addressed to the President of the Security Council, January 2020. https://undocs.org/S/2020/70 (Accessed 11 March 2020).

[6] Mareike Transfeld, “Implementing Stockholm: The Status of Local Security Forces in al-Hodeidah,” YPC Policy Report, Yemen Polling Center, Policy Report, November 2019. http://www.yemenpolling.org/Projects-en/ICSP_EU_HodeidahReport2019November30.pdf (Accessed 16 February 2020).

[7] Mareike Transfeld and Shaima Bin Othman, “The State of the Police in Western Yemen”, YPC research debrief, Yemen Polling Center, Research Debrief, January 2020. https://www.yemenpolling.org/4325/ (Accessed 16 February 2020).

[8] Amnesty International, “Yemen: Fierce new offensive displaces tens of thousands of civilians from Hodeidah” May 2018. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/yemen-fierce-new-offensive-displaces-tens-of-thousands-of-civilians-from-hodeidah/ (Accessed 5 March 2020).

[9] Maged Sultan, Mareike Transfeld and Kamal Muqbil, “Formalizing the Informal State and Non-State Security Providers in Government-Controlled Taiz City,” YPC Policy Report, Yemen Polling Center, July 2019. https://yemenpolling.org/advocacy/upfiles/ICSP_EU_FinalTaizReport2019July19.pdf (Accessed 16 February 2020).

[10] Nadwa al-Dawsari , “Tribal Governance And Stability In Yemen “, The Carnegie papers, Carnegie endowment (April 2012). https://carnegieendowment.org/files/yemen_tribal_governance.pdf (Accessed 5 March 2020).

[11]CIVIC, “We Did Not Know If We Would Die From Bullets Or Hunger” Civilian Harm and Local Protection Measures in Yemen “, Jan 2019, https://civiliansinconflict.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/YEMEN_BulletsorHunger_FINAL_PROOF.pdf (Accessed 5 March 2020).

[12] Fatima Saleh and Ahmed al-Sharjabi “Institutional Prerequisites for the STC “Coup” in Aden and Perspectives on the Jeddah Deal” , research debrief, Yemen Polling Center, Oct 2019. https://www.yemenpolling.org/institutional-prerequisites-for-the-stc-coup-in-aden-and-perspectives-on-the-jeddah-deal/ (Accessed 16 February 2020).

[13] Human Rights Watch, “Yemen: Riyadh Agreement Ignores Rights Abuses”, December 2019, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/12/12/yemen-riyadh-agreement-ignores-rights-abuses Accessed 5 Mar 2020; Human Rights Watch,  “Yemen: UAE Backs Abusive Local Forces” June 2017.

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