Huthis with the Protesters
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
Ok, since I clearly have some time tonight, I was going to post on the new communications bill and the second dust-up between the al-Ahmar boys and Salih loyalists, but to be honest I got lost in the minutia of Yemeni constitutional law (yes, such a thing exists) and ended up with a post that no one would ever read.
Instead, I thought I would pass along word that Abd al-Malik al-Huthi (Ar.) took a break from celebrating the prophet's birthday to declare his solidarity with the protesters in Yemem.
That the Huthis would come out with such a statement was, I think, expected by most who follow Yemen. But what exactly it means is, at least for me, still up for debate. After all it is not as if most of the young protesters in Sanaa or Taizz are with the Huthis.
Does this mean the Huthis, who have generally been good at following the various cease-fire agreements, suddenly break the latest one in the hopes that the combined pressure of different centers can force Salih's regime to crack? I don't know, but I doubt it. So what impact, if any, does moral support from the Huthis count for?
I don't think the leadership of the Huthis knows at this point what exactly they are going to do. Like most everyone else in Yemen, they are waiting to see which way the wind blows before trying to using it to their own advantage.
Finally, some picture of the protesters this evening in Taizz (scroll to the bottom).
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