Of all the conflicts in which the West is found itself a player in the last decade, Yemen has proved one of the most enduring and complex. What was once the scene of a Western-backed attempt to prop up an unpopular local leader and fight Al Qaeda is now increasingly portrayed as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As we head towards a new US administration and perhaps even more uncertainty in Europe, PS21 and the Remote Control Project pull together a uniquely qualified panel with a wide range of experience in the country to discuss its lessons and what might happen next.
Peter Apps [moderator] is executive director, PS21 and global affairs columnist, Thomson Reuters
Rafat Ali Al-Akhali was appointed in November 2014 as Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Yemen, a post he held until September 2015. Prior to his appointment, Rafat was leading the Policy Reforms team at the Executive Bureau for Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms. In that position, Rafat led the planning and implementation of key reforms in Yemen including fuel subsidies, power sector, and civil service reforms. He also led business environment reforms and government efforts in private sector development.
Iain Smailes retired from the British Army in January 2016 after tours as defence attache in both Afghanistan and Yemen as well as deployments with the United Nations in Sierra Leone and Kosovo.
Mai Noman is a BBC Digital journalist covering the Middle East and founding member of “Kuni wa Kun”, a Yemeni youth initiative aiming to change perceptions and practices which hinder the development of women and the Yemeni society.
Emily Knowles joined Remote Control as project manager in March 2016. She has a background in conflict analysis and security policy, and tech current research focuses on the UK’s use of remote forms of warfare such as dronesAll, special forces, training and advisory missions in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Libya.
Baraa Shiban is a human rights activist who works with the human rights organisation Reprieve. He investigated drone strikes across Yemen between 2012 and 2015. He also served as a member of the Yemeni National Dialogue (2013) – a body in charge of reviewing Yemeni laws and drafting its new constitution. He helped to run a media centre in Sanaa’s change square (2011). Baraa has worked with Yemeni civil society since 2006.
The event is free to attend. Register here.