Why has Diplomacy Failed in Yemen so far?

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Research Centres Meeting Suite, 9th Floor, Pankhurst House, Clement's Inn, WC2A 2AZ


Farea Al-Muslimi

Farea Al-Muslimi

The Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies


Dr Michael Mason

Dr Michael Mason

LSE Middle East Centre



For the last four years, Yemen has been suffering one of the bloodiest wars in the Middle East. In a manner surpassing even Syria, state institutions have collapsed, health and education systems are largely dysfunctional, millions continue to suffer from malnutrition, and over one million civil servants have not been paid their salaries for two years.

In the meantime, local alliances are dramatically shifting and evolving, while regional actors are increasingly involved to varying degrees. In particular, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the UAE exercise control militarily, either directly or through proxies, while Qatar, Oman and Western countries remain indirectly involved.

How have the diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict in Yemen failed since 2011, and what lessons have been learned? What challenges face the current UN-lead peace process, and what are its prospects for success? What similarities and differences exist between the peace processes for Syria and Yemen? And most importantly, what can the UK do to de-escalate Yemen’s current brutal conflict? 

Farea Al-Muslimi tackles the current situation in Yemen and the complexities international diplomatic efforts to end the war are facing.

Farea Al-Muslimi (@almuslimi) is chairman and co-founder of Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies. He is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He previously worked for the Carnegie Center in Beirut and Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C as a visiting scholar where he covered Yemen and the Gulf.

Michael Mason is Director of the Middle East Centre. He is also Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment and Associate of the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment. His research interests encompass environmental politics and governance, notably issues of accountability, transparency and security.

About the LSE Middle East Centre

The LSE Middle East Centre (@LSEMiddleEast) builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.

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Image: A Saudi military member stands next to a damaged building in the area of the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden. Image courtesy of Ahmed Farwan, Flickr.


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