Taiz, a city in central Yemen, is besieged by Huthi rebels and practically cut off from the rest of the country. Restored road access would save lives and build trust that could help bring peace to Yemen, but time is short.
Adversaries of Yemen’s Huthi rebels say they will never negotiate in good faith. Others think they might, given the right mix of incentives. With a nationwide truce in place, diplomats should give the latter hypothesis a shot.
The UN has brokered a surprise truce in Yemen’s long-running war, while the country’s internationally recognised president has handed over his powers to an eight-man council. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Peter Salisbury explains the significance of these developments.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group expert Peter Salisbury about the significance of a week of surprises in Yemen: first, an unprecedented truce and then Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi handing over power.
A fight for economic dominance is compounding Yemen’s humanitarian emergency and intractable war. Profiteering and manipulation by both sides risk plunging the country into a steeper decline. Within this complex conflict, the UN should pursue an economic truce just as much as a military one.
Alongside the battles over territory, the parties to Yemen’s war are embroiled in fights for control of key parts of the country’s economy. The latter struggle causes great civilian suffering. The new UN envoy should make it a central task to achieve an economic truce.
The Huthis have taken al-Bayda, the southern approach to Marib and its oil reserves. A battle for this prize likely would not conclude the war, however. The new UN envoy should work to avert that showdown while revamping the framework for making peace in Yemen.
U.S. efforts to uproot al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise often overlooked the country’s mercurial politics. As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Peter Salisbury explains that the sectarianism the group espoused is still rife on all sides of Yemen’s war.
Originally published in Foreign Affairs
The UN is recruiting a new envoy to broker peace in Yemen. More important than who gets the job is how UN member states and the mediator perceive its purpose, interpretations of which have limited the UN to the flawed two-party framework adopted since 2015.