September 25, 2021


Kuwait has given the Yemeni warring factions only two weeks to reach a peace deal or leave its land, but the Saudi-backed government and the Houthis have not reached any understanding, even when the deadline is drawing near.

In fact, the talks have lasted more than three months, and there still seems no prospect for any breakthrough.

Meanwhile, crises, including a humanitarian catastrophe are worsening, as battles near the Saudi-Yemeni border and across the country are intensifying.

Observers argued that, this political failure should be blamed on lack of goodwill from all sides, as it appears to be "a game of conflict and peace, by international and regional players in the Middle East."

Ahmed Al-Jabr, a political analyst, said, "The international community is not serious about putting an end to the conflict in Yemen. They have failed to execute the UN Security Council's resolutions, especially Resolution 2216."

"Moreover, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states are not serious about a military victory at the moment, as if the GCC states see that keeping a balanced military conflict will force the Houthis to accept a political deal," said Al-Jabr.

Practically, each side insists on demands that the other side won't accept.

"The Houthis will not accept disarmament and that is one of the most controversial points standing as a roadblock to any peace deal," Al-Jabr added.

Fuad Alsalahi, a political sociology professor at Sanaa University, said, a key reason the peace talks are unproductive is that, all sides don't put the country's interest above anything else.

"Yemeni factions are holding talks for one goal: quotas in power. They don't care about the interests of the people," he said.

"The problem is getting worse because the international community is backing this trend. All should give priority to what matters most: catastrophic crises. Just, if they think like that, a breakthrough will be made," Alsalahi said.

Hassan Al-Warith, a political writer and analyst, said, "Yemeni factions are walking in a vicious circle because they, along with international and regional players, are ignoring the main cause of the crisis in the country."

"There is a Yemeni-Saudi, not Yemeni-Yemeni crisis. The Yemeni government can't make its own decisions. Saudi Arabia makes decisions for it and directs what it should do and what it should not," Al-Warith explained.

Some observers argue that the two sides resumed talks under pressure from the United Nations, which was a political manoeuvre rather than willingness to work for peace.

Observers say, the UN and key international players are only trying to save face through peace talks, since military intervention has failed and brought catastrophic consequences, especially humanitarian crises.

Observers argue that, peace requires two immediate actions, and the first is to find a way to execute the UN resolutions on Yemen.

The other is to ensure that regional and international players act as facilitators of peace talks.

Actually, military escalation and more crises will ensue, if political efforts for reconciliation fail.

Yaseen Al-Tamimi, a political writer and analyst, said, "All international positions and efforts should be united to push for implementation of UN resolutions, or push all sides to accept a political solution based on these resolutions."

"But if both do not happen, there will be only one option left to solve the crisis: a military win by the government and the Saudi-led coalition," Al-Tamimi said.

Al-Warith, who sees there is a Saudi-Yemeni instead of Yemeni-Yemeni crisis, said, holding Yemeni-Saudi talks could help establish a ground for permanent peace in the country.

"Objectively, foreigners must not be part of the crisis. They should help Yemenis reconcile and lift their country out of suffering. Saudi Arabia has become involved in the crisis directly, which is why there is a need for a Yemeni-Saudi dialogue," he added.

"Above all, Yemenis should rethink their actions. They need to depend on themselves. If Yemenis don't want peace, no one will bring it for them," Al-Warith said.

Yemen has been locked in a civil war since the Houthis seized power and overturned the Yemeni government in late 2014.

In Mar, 2015, the Saudi-led coalition launched a bombing campaign to restore the legitimacy of the government. However, the military intervention has deepened the conflict and crises across the country.

The war, along with a blockade by the coalition, has left the country in the worst crisis in decades.

The UN says, 82 percent of the total population, around 21 million, need basic aid, with 14 million lacking access to healthcare services, and 19 million to safe water.

The war has also left three million displaced, who are now suffering at camps or host families. The latest warning from the UN was that, Yemen is on the brink of an economic collapse and around 10 million people, maybe more, are "one step" from famine.