Literature Review: Corruption and Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

The topic that I have chosen to do my research on is about the ongoing corruption and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the role of different actors and international community in this issue. I would like to look at the different backgrounds of the actors involved in the situation and what is the international community/organizations doing about it or what they can do. This research can help my readers learn more on the war that is going on in the country and the involvement of international organizations that are trying to assess the situation.

Different research that I have found was about previous humanitarian crises that have happened in the past, and what actions were taken by the international community/organizations. I looked for well-known historic humanitarian crisis that people are familiar with. I looked into the Rwandan genocide and the effects of the involvement of the international community even at a late time. Another was the effect of both world wars and the actions taken to aid the crisis at that time. Also one article that I found talked about when should the international community/organizations act or should authorize some kind of aid intervention for countries that are facing humanitarian crises.

            Political System in Yemen

Yemen is one of those Arab countries which are currently in an uncertain state; however it is governed under the constitution of 1991 where president is the head of state. Its emerging democracy is based on constitutional republic, where the people are the owner and source of power. Before the country became a republic it was ruled by the Imams but after it was came as an independent country it became a republic. The people of Yemen participate in referendums and also elect their own government representatives. It is seen that the political system of the country is based in political pluralism and multiparty system where the power is rotated among the different political parties in the country (Ponthieu & Derderian 39).

The president in the country is selected through competitive elections where the people vote and the 7 year long presidency begins. According to the laws amended in 2001, the president can also be re-elected.  Even though the country had multi-party system but it was mostly dominated by the General People’s Congress since the country was unified again. The legislative power resided with both the government and the parliament, however due to the uncertain state of the country in 2014-15; Houthis which is a militant group took control over the government and dissolved the parliament as well. They also installed a transitional national council in the country in the interim period. Along with that it is also seen that the disposed president is still working in Aden to establish a rival government.


As the country is currently under the rule of Shia Houthi Rebels, they consider as a great revolution for the nation as they have captured large areas of the capital and also have force their way into the government. The reason for this revolution is termed because it will be the second Arab country to be ruled by the Shias (Atran). The Houthi movement considers them responsible for this revolution in the country which they consider as a great success and victory for the people. Sana’a which is the capital city of the other part of Yemen is also under the control of the Houthi fighters who want to make the country completely under the Shia rule at the highest level. However the youth of the country are rising up and getting recognition on international level for their efforts against the anti-government uprising (Freeman 1008).

Emergence of AQAP

AQAP originally emerged as a domestic terrorist group that was opposed to the Saudi monarchy in January 2009. The research states that the group was transformed in 2009 when it was merged with the Yemeni and Saudi branches of Al Qaeda (Atran). Many terrorists had fled Yemen after security forces in Saudi Arabia had suppressed their activities.

The group has carried out numerous attacks in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and US. It has been considered to be one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations because of the fact that it sought to use modern means to target English speaking Muslims living in the West. Anwar Al-Aulaqi, an American citizen, was a charismatic preacher and propagandist that were responsible for disseminating the literature of AQAP among the masses. He was killed in a US drone strike in the year 2011.

AQAP has grown strong in the South of Yemen where it has been able to draw support from local tribes (Atran). It has been able to withstand repeated military offensives by Yemeni military and US drone strikes. AQAP has tried to attack the US thrice, but it has failed in its efforts due to cooperation between Saudi Arabia and US. The terrorist organization poses a serious threat to the stability and welfare of the entire region. It has been considered to be motivated and dangerous because of the fact that it has been able to recruit Muslims living in the Western world in order to execute terrorist attacks.

Yemeni Government Policy and Local Actor Roles

Yemen has sought to fight terrorism through the use of integrated approaches. It has used military operations in order to root out the threat of terrorism. Military approaches have been successful in capturing towns from AQAP, but they have failed to eradicate the threat of the group that has been using terrorist and guerilla tactics in order to attack Yemeni government and civilian targets. Yemen has sought to increase collaboration and support from regional powers like Saudi Arabia as well as US and Britain in order to respond to the threat of terrorism. The research states that goals of the regime have been to ensure that the anti-terrorism strategy can be a success in an efficient and effective manner (Bari). The goal of the terrorism strategy is to increase the costs for terrorist groups.

Local security forces remain hindered by the lack of proper training and resources.  The security forces face a number of challenges from crimes. Terrorism remains the most challenging problems for the law enforcement agency. Yemen needs to tackle such issues by using an integrated and coordinated strategy for change. It needs to have clear and precise goals that can be used for achieving long term success. The training of officers needs to be upgraded so that they can respond to the sophisticated techniques employed by criminals (Wood & Sullivan 737).

Moreover, the officers need to be given more resources that help them to get the necessary equipment in fighting such criminals. This can lead to high levels of efficiency and effectiveness. The author states that a major initiative should be to increase foot patrols in crime infested areas (Bari). Local initiatives should focus on creating relationships with local communities so that crime can be tackled in an efficient manner.

Police helpline services need to be reliable and efficient so that they can respond to victims’ complaints in a dynamic manner. Yemeni police need to develop a concerted strategy for tackling such terrorist activities. It should focus on enhancing its operational excellence in order to ensure the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness.  AQAP enjoys local support from tribes and Islamists as they are shown to be acting as proxies.

The research states that they have the similar goals that are according to the ideology of Islamic parties in the country (Basile 170). This creates increased levels of threats as the political forces backing AQAP have the potential to take over the country. There is the need for a coordinated and integrated strategy that can be employed for combating the threat of terrorism in Yemen. The Houthi rebels are also Islamic fundamentalists, but they do not have a global ideology (Basile 182). They want to protect their interests in order to achieve critical success within short period. Moreover, the goal is to focus on creating a collaborative approach that will help to attain the critical goals.

Ethical Issues

There are a number of ethical issues related to the current humanitarian crisis situation in Yemen. A major goal should be to ensure that civilian casualties can be minimized (Stein 16). This is important in order to ensure that sound outcomes can be attained. The use of military firepower should be done in such a manner that it helps to prevent the problem of civilian losses. Ethical issues need to be considered in the framework of human rights. The goal should be towards the development of integrated and coordinated approaches that will help to attain long-term impact (Ponthieu & Derderian 38).

Regional powers should also strive to end their meddling in the affairs of Yemen. This is very important in order to create collaborative approaches towards success. The research states that the use of innovation can be important through proper confidence building issues (Zagorcheva 163). The goal should be towards the creation of innovation and creativity to tackle root causes of a problem. Political reconciliation should be the important aspect of the strategy as it will ensure that long-term success can be attained.

Moreover, the goal should be towards developing integrated approaches in which the goals of efficiency can be attained. Yemen has been plagued by the problem of warring factions. Providing rights to every group is important because it help in the future. It will ensure the creation of a collaborative framework that will be used to respond to problems in a dynamic manner (Zagorcheva 164). Moreover, the goal should be towards smart and integrated strategies. The use of an innovative and creative framework will be beneficial since it helps to facilitate growth and development. The focus on attaining strategic goals will help in achieving critical success within short period. Policies should be implemented with the goals of improving the outcomes.



As a result of corruption on such a large scale in Yemen, the country has to face different problems such as poverty and class difference in the society. However it can be controlled as it is being done by the current Shia government, laws is been put up to bring the corrupt officials to their punishment so that they don’t repeat such a mistake again. Another is the “transparency Committee” that is been set up for those who have crippled the economy of country and the halted the functioning of parliament and reduces the dependency of the country on international aid. This is one of the ways that the government has helped in reduced the corruption in a country which is considered having such a high rate of corruption.


Works Cited

Atran, Scott. Talking To The Enemy. [Place of publication not identified]: HarperCollins e-Books, 2014. Print.

Bari Atwan, Abdel. After Bin Laden. New York: New Press, The, 2013. Print.

Basile, Mark. “Going to the Source: Why Al Qaeda’s Financial Network is Likely to Withstand the Current War on Terrorist Financing.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 27.3 (2004): 169-85. ProQuest. Web. 6 Oct. 2017.

Zagorcheva, Dessie P. “Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War.” Political Science Quarterly 122.1 (2007): 163-4. ProQuest. Web. 7 Oct. 2017.

Freeman, Jack. “The Al Houthi Insurgency in the North of Yemen: An Analysis of the Shabab Al Moumineen.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 32.11 (2009): 1008. ProQuest. Web. 5 Oct. 2017.

Ponthieu, Aurélie, and Katharine Derderian. "Humanitarian Responses in the Protection Gap." Forced Migration Review.43 (2013): 37-40. ProQuest. 19 Sep. 2017 .

Stein, Mark S. "Unauthorized Humanitarian Intervention." Social Philosophy & Policy21.1 (2004): 14-38. ProQuest. 19 Sep. 2017 .

Wood, Reed M. and Christopher Sullivan. "Doing Harm by Doing Good? The Negative Externalities of Humanitarian Aid Provision during Civil Conflict." Journal of Politics, vol. 77, no. 3, July 2015, pp. 736-748. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1086/681239.