Yemenis Increasingly Resistant to Saudi Development Projects

Locals fear projects are meant to entrench Saudi military in occupation

While Saudi Arabia has managed to militarily occupy substantial parts of Yemen, efforts to try to enhance their reputation within the war-torn country are not only failing, but actually fueling even more anger among locals, who are resisting many of their development projects.

Promising everything under the sun, from new boats for fishermen to new schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, Saudi Arabia is also sending hundreds of more troops in to oversee these many projects. Locals fear the projects are temporary, and the Saudi troops are permanent.

In the al-Mahra Province, many locals are openly questioning the Saudi agenda, accusing them of trying to “buy loyalty” with their projects, while entrenching their military occupation for years to come.

Saudi commanders are openly saying they fear that if they don’t meet the needs of the Yemenis, someone else will and supplant them. That’s a realistic concern, but the Saudis are also stopping far short of any assurances that their deployment isn’t permanent.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of