Militancy in Yemen

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The militant groups related to al-Qaeda have gained considerable strength in the southern region of Yemen. These militant groups are reported to be stronger than the country’s military, and this can be seen from the level of the expansion made by the militancy. During his regime, Ali Abdullah Saleh described Yemen as “an island in a sea of al-Qaeda” (Raghavan). In late February of 2012, a regime change happened in Yemen as Saleh stepped down from the presidency, and Hadi was elected the new president in a one candidate election. In the midst of the Arab Spring movement to the transfer of power from Saleh to Hadi and the present situations in Yemen, the Islamist militant groups have garnered greater control over some of the state’s southern regions. The emergence and expansion of al-Qaeda related Islamist militant groups can be seen as an effect of the separationist movement that exists within the southern region of Yemen. The separationist movement arose in the south, in response to the perceived socioeconomic inequality between the northern and southern regions under Saleh. Before its unification, there were two regions of Yemen; the north had the Ottoman and Zaidi (Shiite-sect) influence, while the south was influenced by socialism. In the 1990, Yemen was united under Saleh, but a civil war broke out in 1994, resulting in the emergence of separationist groups. Even though this protest was put down, more protests emerged as years went on. For example, “al-Herak” held protests for “equal rights for southerners in 2007, and their initially peaceful movement was met with deadly force by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime” (al-Shamahi). Since the unification of the two regions, Saleh was the one in power; this shows that ... ... middle of paper ... ...s and Media, 22 May 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. . Corera, Gordon. "Al-Qaeda Underwear Bomber 'was Undercover Agent'" BBC News. BBC, 05 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. . Ghobari, Mohammed. "Somber Yemen Parade Takes Place after Huge Bomb Attack." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 22 May 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. . Raghavan, Sudarsan. "Militants Create Haven in Southern Yemen." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 01 Jan. 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. . Rashid, Ahmed. "The Taliban: Exporting Extremism." Foreign Affairs 78.6 (1999): 22-36. Print.

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