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Yemen: Armed Conflict

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the activity by rebels under the command of Abdul-Malik al Houthi (a) since the signing of the agreement between his group and the government of Yemen on 1 February 2008, (b) between June and September 2007 and (c) between 2004 and 2007; and if he will make a statement. (199219)

The Government of Yemen has been fighting a series of internal conflicts with al-Houthi-led rebels in the Governorate of Sa’dah since 2004. This conflict is an internal matter, driven by a complicated mix of tribal, religious and economic factors. We acknowledge the need for the Government of Yemen to maintain security within its borders. However, we have called for dialogue between the Government of Yemen and the Houthis to try to achieve a ceasefire. A recent Qatari-led mediation effort has achieved a pause in the fighting. This is fragile, and we continue to receive reports of sporadic violence in isolated areas. But we welcome the Qatari mediation effort and consider it the best route to achieving a lasting peace in Sa’dah.