The Saudi-led coalition have have been bombing Yemen since Houthi Rebels ousted president Hadi and his government back in 2014. The Houthi group’s (backed by Iran) formation dates back to the early 1990s when the group emerged as an opposition to former Yemeni President Ali Saleh who took support from Saudi and the US at the expense of Yemeni People. According to the group, they are fighting “for things that all Yemenis crave: government accountability, the end to corruption, regular utilities, fair fuel prices, job opportunities for ordinary Yemenis and the end of Western influence.” Due to the number of different sides to the story the reasons driving the conflict aren’t crystal clear.
A common narrative is that Yemen is of strategic importance to Saudi,Iran and the US as it links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden through which a significant amount oil shipments pass. So, whoever controls this passway gains an advantage in the MENA commodities export business which has started to thrive with accelerating investment in African Infrastructure projects.
On the other hand, in 2014 when Iran helped the Houthi’s capture the Yemeni capital San’a this was not without civilian causalities and crippling Yemen’s infrastructure. Not to mention the possibility that Iran is using Yemen tactically to boost their Oil exports. In fact, It is often said that this fear of Iranian power is what caused Saudi to trigger the UN Resolution 2216 to end violence in Yemen.
Our conclusion – Unfortunately, where there is a lot of oil there is generally a lot of corruption. If the battle continues to escalate investor appetite for the MENA region may start to diminish.
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