Afrah Nasser

  • Yemen: Women, War & Political Marginalization

    When Yemen’s last peace talks in Stockholm took place in December 2018, only one female delegate was at the negotiation table. Assistant Secretary of the Yemeni Popular Nasserist Party, Rana Ghanem was the only female member, in the Yemeni government delegation. Over the past three Yemen peace talks, only three women have sat at the negotiation table. “One of the reasons why I was able to be in the negotiations was my leading position in the Nasserist Party,” explains Ghanem who has been involved with the Nasserist Party since 1991.

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  • Progress Toward Peace in Yemen, But Hard Work Remains

    Days after finishing a fresh round of peace talks in Sweden earlier in December, UN Yemen Special Envoy Martin Griffiths remained optimistic, but also expressed caution saying “our collective achievements this week were indeed a significant step forward. But what is in front of us is a daunting task.  As ever the hard work starts now.”

    To be sure, there are plenty of daunting issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve a lasting peace in Yemen. These issues were not addressed in the talks in Sweden. While negotiators failed to reach agreement on the economic and political issues fueling the war in Yemen, the talks deliberately prioritized humanitarian issues, starting with the main access point for international aid: the port city of Hodeidah.

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  • Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis Persists, Despite Humanitarian Funding

    When over $2 billion was pledged for the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) earlier this year, it was considered not only a success but also the best funded response plan worldwide according to anonymous aid workers who spoke to the author during the UN General Assembly. So far, 65% of the pledged funds have been delivered. The delivery of the remaining funding is expected throughout this year.

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  • The Problem with Humanitarian Assistance in Yemen

    An international fundraising conference for Yemen took place at the United Nations (UN) offices Geneva in early April. Co-chaired by Sweden, Switzerland, and the UN, the conference succeeded in securing humanitarian funding worth over $2 billion, doubling the previous year’s pledges of $1.1 billion. Despite optimism that the donations represent a “success of international solidarity to the people of Yemen,” as statedby UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his closing statement, the current humanitarian response presents more problems than solutions.

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  • From the Front Lines of Yemen’s Lawless Taiz

    With one hand holding the hose for hookah and the other his beeping cell phone, a conversation with Mohammed al-Qadhi is constantly interrupted. He swiftly takes a glance at his cell phone and says, “Excuse me, it’s breaking news I must send this to my editors.” He grabs his phone and he begins tapping.

    As one of Yemen’s veteran journalists and rare war correspondents, al-Qadhi has a lot on his plate. Despite spending a short vacation in Cairo, he is busy following the news, receiving calls and updates from his contacts in Yemen, and reporting to his editors at UAE-based Sky News Arabia.

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  • Is a Political Solution Still Possible in Yemen?

    The end of Saleh-Houthi alliance marks a new chapter in Yemen’s intractable conflict. Two weeks after Saleh’s death, warring parties intensified their military escalation, increasing an already abominable human cost. Despite Saleh’s legacy of subversive tactics and coercion, his death undermines efforts to resolve the conflict. The Houthis, an irrational movement lacking in political experience, make for a highly emotional and unreliable party at the negotiating table. With the passing of Saleh, the ultimate pragmatist with longstanding political and diplomatic ties both locally and internationally, an opportunity has passed with him. In a post-Saleh Yemen, the question remains: is a...
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  • The Unfolding UN Failure in the Yemen War

    Despite the two previous unsuccessful attempts to pass a draft resolution to establish a UN independent international investigation commission into possible Yemen war crimes, sixty-seven Human Rights groups recently initiated another call demanding the establishment of the inquiry commission. The call for a commission is unlikely to be successful, but if it is formed it runs the risk of being hijacked by state interests and failing to hold accountable certain actors, particularly members of the Saudi-led coalition who wield influence at the United Nations.

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  • The Yemen War, Media, and Propaganda

    Yemeni media is one of the most affected aspects in the raging war in Yemen. In an unprecedented case, a Houthi-controlled court issued a death sentence earlier in April, against journalist Yahya al-Joubayhy, for being a “Saudi spy,” reflecting a glimpse of the risks Yemeni media workers endure.

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