The UN armistice in Yemen… Are there opportunities for steadfastness?

By: Dr. Raga’a Shakwa’at

          The economic and political measures are subject to the commitment to the humanitarian truce and the ceasefire, which was announced by the United Nations Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg, after the peace talks (the Yemeni-Yemeni consultations), which were hosted by Riyadh under the supervision of the Gulf Cooperation Council, during which the parties agreed to stop military operations Air, land, and sea inside Yemen and on its borders.

 The term of the ceasefire is supposed to be two months, and it can be extended with the consent of the parties.

The shooting entered into force on the first day of the month of Ramadan and represented a glimmer of hope, and was welcomed by Yemen, regionally and internationally.

 The formation of the Presidential Leadership Council headed by Dr. Muhammad Al-Alimi was also a very important step in paving the way for a political settlement and as a political and social incubator that enhanced the chances of stability and restoring the building of the state.

        However, since the second week of the truce, the National Army forces have detected 71 violations on the Marib, Al-Jawf, Hajjah, Taiz, and Hodeidah fronts by the Houthi militia, which reflected the latter’s rejection of peace.

The head of the Presidential Council confirmed at the time that the Houthi militias reinforce their unwillingness to peace through military violations of the truce, stressing that peace is the only option for his government to spare bloodshed.

 The Houthi militias made it clear that they did not see clear signs of achieving peace, and the two sides exchanged accusations of violating the truce, while violations varied between attempts to target army positions with artillery from all sides, pushing military reinforcements, infiltration operations, and deploying snipers in front of army positions and building roads.

This raised fears of the collapse of the entire truce, and the United Nations called on all parties to exercise restraint.

      Meanwhile, the commander of the Third Army of the Yemeni army announced the shooting down of Houthi attack planes in the Saada governorate after violating the armistice, and the army again accused the Houthis of committing 126 violations with military reinforcements in various directions, especially in the Taiz axis.

 The Yemeni government made it clear that the Houthi militias are continuing their military violations and imposing suffering on the citizens.

 Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak also renewed the government’s commitment to implementing the truce, calling on the international community to pressure the militias to maintain the truce and exploit it as a window of peace, considering security a humanitarian priority that does not accept the delay in.

        With the continuation of the repeated violations, observers and specialists in Yemeni affairs expect the truce to collapse at any time amid an atmosphere of mutual accusations of violating it by the parties to the conflict.

 Professor Omar Muhammad Ali Muhammad, professor of international relations at the University of Khartoum, has rejected the option of collapsing the truce unless “the parties realize the humanitarian situation and there is a new agreement on new foundations and an immediate cessation of violations,” in addition to the failure of efforts to implement the item related to lifting the siege on the city of Taiz, which besieged it. Houthi militias since 2015.

 Although more than a month has passed since the truce, the Houthis still refrained from naming their representatives in the committee to open the crossings and roads leading to Taiz, which makes observers doubt the Houthis’ desire to reach a comprehensive solution to the crisis and abide by the truce.

But the truce remains fragile so far because it is still dependent on political understandings that must lead to confidence building, including the accompanying humanitarian measures that do not seem available on the horizon. Are there opportunities for steadfastness to launch a real peace process?  

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