Yemen at a new crossroad

According to the Arab media, the US, Special envoy to Yemen blamed rebel Houthi leaders for the recent failure to extend the country’s cease-fire agreement, accusing them of making last-minute ‘maximalist demands’ that derailed constructive negotiations. According to American Diplomat, Yemeni warring groups failed to reach an agreement to extend the nationwide truce after Houthis rebels demanded the salaries of the fighters and mercenaries be paid before that of Yemeni civil servants. The reports suggest that small exchanges of fire between Yemeni pro-government forces and Houthi rebels

The Yemeni conflict began in late 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi militia seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa and a larger chunk of Yemen territory while President Mansur Hadi and his cabinet fled to Saudi Araba and sorted Saudi support to regain his control. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries launched a military offensive against Houthi militia through Air, Sea, and ground forces to liberate Yemen, while the United States and other western nations provided logistic support, intelligence sharing, and air defense shield to Saudi Arabia from Houthis missile attacks. The eight-year long war resulted in the displacement of nearly 3 million Yemenis and killed about 2.5 lac people. The unending conflict pushed the country into severe malnutrition and famine.

Over the past years, the United Nations and the global community had been engaged in talks with warring groups to realize peace in the war-hit country but this dream could not be visualized until both groups struck an UN-brokered peace deal in April primarily for two months. The peace deal was revived once by the parties but recently Houthi rebels refused to extend the peace deal and put forward several demands including payment of salaries to Houthi fighters, which subsequently led to the failure of the dialogue.

Apparently, Houthis had made a strong foothold in Yemen, and most regional countries including KSA and UAE backed the anti-Houthi forces whereas Iran supported the rebel group. The global community could not conceive peace over the past years and both opposing factions are not ready to rule the country collectively. Houthis are blackmailing the international community to get recognition of their illegal/ criminal status in the country which has far-reaching effects on global peace in the future. Hence, the global community must not accede to such demands which instigate insurgencies, support criminals, and set a vexatious example in the world.