The Yemen community is bearing the brunt of the tribe-sect based sociopolitical structure. Western colonist powers benefitted from the disputes between the tribes. Western arms dealers sold brand new weapons to Yemeni tribes at the prime cost and even below the cost. Thus, by arming the tribes they provoked them both among themselves and against the “Ottoman” administration. The weapons made in British, Italian, Belgian and German companies started to be sold in the markets like hot cakes; in a way that, a rifle became an irreplaceable part of a Yemeni's daily life. The power of political leaders in Yemen was limited with the power of the tribe they were a member of. The ones who captured the rulership also assigned the administrative and financial resources to their own tribes. This is the most essential issue of Yemen.
I guess that, throughout their history, Yemen stayed as a whole for only short intervals. They are still feeling the pain of “not being a whole”. The “Zaidi Kingdom”, which had been established in Northern Yemen at the beginning of the 1920s, had been destroyed in 1962 and an authoritative “Republic” regime had been established in its place. Imam Yahya's grandson, Seyfuislam, had taken shelter with the Zaidi tribes in the highlands near the Saudi border and started the resistance. Cemal Abdülnasır, who acted as the leader of Arab nationalism, supported the Republicans and sent troops to Yemen. Surprisingly, Riyadh, from the “Wahhabi” sect, supported the Zaidi.
Meanwhile, Southern Yemen gained their independence from Britain in 1967. Thus, another Yemen republic had been formed. In 1990, even though two Yemens had made the decision to unite, their leaders couldn't come to an agreement. Northern Ali Abdullah Salih established his dominance over the South by force in 1994. However, Southern tribes couldn't accept the Salih administration. In the meanwhile, the “Husi-Ensarullah” movement, supposedly supported by Iran, appeared. Riyadh supported Salih and started joint operations against Houthi rebellions. In 2004, the leader of the Houthis, Hüseyin El-Husi, had been killed during an operation.
Following the “Arab Spring”, a new process started in Yemen. After Riyadh's suggestion, Salih left his seat, however he interfered in the incidents later on. Besides, he had taken sides with the Houthis; he declared war against the new administration. With the support of the forces connected to Salih, Houthis captured many cities in the north. Houthis had taken control of Sanaa and headed towards the South. Egypt came head to head with the Saudi forces in the civil war during the 1960s, but this time they were on the same side with Riyadh. Ali Abdullah Salih and his supporting tribes were enemies of their old patrons, Cairo and Riyadh. The coupist General Sisi, who had overthrown President Mohammad Morsi, found the biggest support from Riyadh. General Sisi is paying his debt to Riyadh by bombing the Houthis.
Tribalism, sectarianism, narrow-mindedness, political and economic selfishness, a despotic administration and the limitless ambitions are ruining Yemen, as it did Iraq and Syria. It seems difficult for Iran and Syria to stay as a whole. Yemen is going towards the same end. If the sides don't come to an agreement, disintegration is inevitable. This also means that the civil war will continue for longer years, even if it's less intense. In the forthcoming process, we might witness developments that might make all the borders in the region meaningless. Developments might not be limited with the region and expand to a wider basin. If the Muslim political mind doesn't interfere in the developments by refreshing itself, then a “great chaos” in the wide Islam basin will become inevitable. Aren't all the happenings in the recent years giving us these signals?