Since its unification in 1990, the Arabian Peninsula state of Yemen has long been riven by armed groups, separatists, and factionalism – and since the downfall of longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, this has become even more the case.
Although it was hoped that Saleh’s replacement by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, his former vice president, would assuage Yemen’s discontents, tensions continue to simmer.
The Houthi, Shias living in Yemen’s north, feel mistreated by the central government. So do many in southern Yemen, which until 1990 had been a separate state. Meanwhile, since the start of the uprising against Saleh in 2011, al-Qaeda and related groups have gained control over some territory in restive Abyan Province, and have launched attacks throughout the country.
Tensions are also high in Arhab, just north of Yemen’s capital Sanaa, as troops loyal to Saleh’s son Ahmed Ali Saleh clash with tribes and soldiers affiliated with powerful military commander Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and the conservative al-Islah party. The deployment of troops to deal with unrest in Arhab has, until recently, meant that fewer men have been sent to southern provinces to fight al-Qaeda.
About this interactive: Click on the “map” buttons below to discover where each group operates within Yemen.