Triggering Factors: The Yemen Civil War

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Triggering Factors B: Triggering factors are things that cause a conflict to break out. They are separated into four categories which include: Internal mass-level factors, external mass-level factors, external elite factors, and internal elite factors. All four of these categories have influenced the Yemen Civil war.
Internal, Mass-level factors Internal mass-level factors manifest itself in the form of bad domestic problems. Yemen faced several domestic problems before the war had broken out. As mentioned before, Yemen was one of the poorest Arab countries before the civil war started. The unemployment rate was, and continues to be very high. Furthermore, due to the weakness of the central government, parts of Yemen have essentially
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Many of the triggering factors, including external elite-level factors, may have been much less influential if domestic elites had made better decisions. Power struggles, and ideological differences have been the two biggest points of clash between domestic elites. It is not surprising to see that there are many ideological differences among Yemen’s elite. These differences have historically taken root in two forms, religious ideology, and political ideology. The difference in political ideology is the result of the West’s backing of the Yemen Arab Republic, and the USSR backing the People’s Republic of Yemen. Ex-President Saleh was the leader of the North, and Hadi was a Major General for the Southern Yemeni Army (Sharp). These two Yemen’s were hostile to each other during the 1970’s to the 1990’s (Rugh). This elite level problem started to manifest itself after unification, when Yemen, under leadership from President Saleh, transitioned from a one party system (the North only had one party prior to this) to a multi-party system (Rugh). Many were skeptical of this move, and when an American diplomat asked Sahel why he had done this, he responded saying that “he knew he had many enemies underground, out of sight; to participate in political parties, they would have to come out in the open, where he could watch them more …show more content…
The son of a local tribe leader named Hussain Badraddin al Houthi rallied his people and encouraged them to speak out in the name of their interests. They believed that the Saleh Government was corrupt and not fully representative of their interests (Rugh). Another grievance this group had was against Saudi Arabia infiltrating their schools and preaching Waabism- a different form of Islam than what they believed. Hussain Houthi and his tribesmen countered this by tried to set up schools to teach Zaidiya. Hussain Houthi was a powerful man from an influential family, and he aimed to spread his influence to the north. This put Hussain Houthi on President Saleh’s watch list. However, at first, they seemed to be somewhat of allies, with Hussain Houthi joining President Saleh’s party from 1993-1997 (Rugh). Eventually by the mid 200’s however, President Saleh thought Houthi and his followers (Houthis) had gained too much power, and turned against them. In 2004 Hussain Houthi was killed by the army. His brother took over and started leading the group. Many cried for revenge and between 2004 and 2010, there were 6 conflicts between the Houthi and Saleh forces. (Rugh) The death of Hussain Houthi demonstrates the importance of domestic elites in starting conflicts. These ideologies and religious differences made themselves apparent in 2015 when Saleh officially backed

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