For the publication of his book Etat du monde arabe, Mathieu Guidère, expert of the Arabic world, gives us explanations and analysis about the Yemen crisis.
Julia Buquet: Yemen is appearing in the news after Mali, Nigeria or even Lybia and Syria. Therefore, what is really happening in this country? What are the reasons of such a conflict?
Mathieu Guidère : The current events in the Yemen are aligned with the Arab Spring which has led to the departure of the president Saleh after 32 years of reign. However, he has never accepted to be removed from power, considering it was a tribal move, and has worked in the shade with the help of several army unities that have stayed loyal. To this background of tribalism has to be added the denominational topic with the rise of Ansarollah, a Shiite militia, derived from the Houthistes, in rebellion against the central power since 2004. They are united with the loyal troops of the Saleh president and have taken control of the capital and of most of the territory. This turnaround has led to the intervention of the two regional powers, Iran supporting Shiites of the north and Saudi Arabia the Sunnis of the south. The situation has evolved from a civil war, based on tribal causes and exacerbated regionalism, to a denominational war opposing Sunnis versus Shiites.