Fighting continued between government forces and Houthi rebels despite announcements of at least one ceasefire. The severity of the fighting intensified, with claims and counter claims by government and rebel spokesmen about control of strategic locations.

 

Mediation efforts by the GCC and other countries failed. The Yemeni foreign minister later said that foreign mediation will not help resolve the crisis. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation of the Sa’ada refugees has worsened as aid agencies struggle to provide sufficient support.

 

Analysis and forecast: increasing risk

 

The failure of mediation efforts so far reinforces the likelihood that the conflict has regional parties directly involved. As a result, there has been a noticeable increase of intensity of fighting. The Yemeni government will therefore want to root out the Houthis. This may be possible in the short term, provided Yemen receives foreign support to counter likely Iranian support for the Houthis. However, a long-term solution to the crisis is needed, which may include devolution of power, ultimately leading to the federalization of Yemen, with increased powers to the Sa’ada region, as well as the south.

 

There are increasing calls for this from the opposition parties, but severe government opposition. However, turning the country into a federation may present the last and only chance for preserving the country's unity. Already, southern seperatists oppose a federal solution and call for independence. Without sufficient foreign assistance, increasing economic difficulties and an ever-increasing Al Qaeda threat, Yemen faces very severe risks to its survival.