September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Situation in Yemen

Topic: 2024-Situation in Yemen
Country: Oman
Delegate Name: Ishaan Muchumarri

In 2014, the Houthis, a Shiite group, seized Sana’a, forcing the internationally recognized Yemeni government into exile. In the aftermath, conflict broke out between the Houthis and the exiled government. In 2015, a Saudi Ariabian-led coalition of nine countries intervened in the conflict on the side of the exiled government, resulting in the conflict escalating to much higher levels. Halfway through 2017, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) was declared and sought autonomy in the port of Aden. Though originally a separatist group determined to form a new nation of Southern Yemen, in 2022 the Presidential Leadership Council was formed and it integrated the STC with the exiled government into the new internationally recognized government of the Republic of Yemen. The conflict as a whole has resulted in the economic downfall of Yemen as a country, with almost a supermajority of the country in desperate need of humanitarian relief; the involvement of ISIS and Al Qaeda adds to the complexity. Despite a global arms embargo, both sides continue to receive arms, and human rights violations persist. Most recently, Houthi attacks have been directed towards the sea as they have begun attacking convoys and trade ships that travel along its coastline in the name of disrupting Israel’s war in Gaza, though many targeted ships have been unrelated to Israel’s war effort. With Yemen’s coastline bordering the passage to the Suez Canal, these attacks have angered the global community; nations like the USA and its allies have begun taking a more hostile approach towards Yemen, which risks only escalating the conflict in the country.

Despite all surrounding nations intervening in the Yemen Civil War, Oman has maintained a strict policy of non-intervention regarding its foreign policy. Oman has historical ties to Yemen, with many ethnic populations existing along both sides of the border. Though the prospect of the most deadly conflict in the world taking place across its border is unpleasant, Oman is dedicated to asserting its autonomy, developing influence, and seizing economic opportunities. All three of these goals are put at risk with the current conflict in Yemen. The involvement of the Saudi-led intervention consists of many nations in which Oman has ideological rivalries, and the interference of other Arab and non-Arab states, particularly fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, on its doorstep threatens Omani independence. Oman has always been caught between conflicting nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and Iran, and has capitalized on this by leveraging its buffer-state position to maintain an independent foreign policy. Oman has remained dedicated to avoiding military engagements that do not pose an immediate threat to its national security, and Muscat will continue to pursue this policy. Though staying out militarily, Oman has used its close connections with both armed and non-armed groups in Yemen to broker peace between the two sides. These efforts have been instrumental and manifested in bringing Saudi Arabia to the table, the April 2022 truce, and currently in mediating talks between Saudi and Houthi officials.

As it stands, the Sultanate of Oman’s focus is on de-escalation of the conflict. What could have been a small and swift domestic conflict has turned into a prolonged regional conflict with multiple belligerent nations as well as several nations providing foreign aid. Restrictions must be placed on the ability of foreign nations to provide aid to domestic conflicts if an eventual end to the conflict is to be had. Furthermore, all nations directly involved in the region must be encouraged to begin the process of de-escalation for the conflict to reach an eventual end. Once actions have been made to confine the fighting to a domestic conflict, the Yemeni people must be elevated out of poverty. Humanitarian aid must be provided by the international community, however, Oman believes that neighboring countries have the best knowledge regarding how to specifically address the conflict in Yemen, and therefore believes the opportunity to develop Yemen and provide economic opportunities be granted to neighboring countries.

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