SHUYYUKH, POLICEMEN AND SUPERVISORS: YEMEN’S COMPETING SECURITY PROVIDERS

Eleonora Ardemagni
ISPI
Ahmed Nagi
Carnegie Middle East Center
Mareike Transfeld
Yemen Polling Center

YPC Research Debrief   •   March 26, 2020

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As the war in Yemen enters its sixth year, plenty of new and traditional security providers operate, and compete, at the local level. Changes in security governance describe quick political fragmentation and reordering of security relations: in many cases, the agents of protection are, contemporarily, agents of coercion.1 In the eyes of local communities, multiple security actors fill the same roles and perform similar or overlapped duties. As violence and instability persist, Yemenis have paradoxically had to deal with a rising number of local, “national” and foreign security providers in their everyday life, especially in areas held by the Houthi insurgents. Each territory has its own particularities; but some general trends can be identified, depicting a country where local communities fluctuate between bottom-up decentralization and self-governance.