YEMEN: PEACE TALKS SUSPENDED, CIVILIANS UNDER THREAT


27/11/2016





Yemeni peace talks which was hosted by Kuwait and led by the United Nations ended without an agreement.On 28th of July, Houthi rebels who control the capital Sana’a and their ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ousted president, have decided to form a council to run the country after rejecting the peace plans UN proposed. Spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Farhan Haq stated that this would endanger the peace processes and was also against the Yemeni Constitution. After the decision to form a council to run the country, on August the 6th, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN envoy on Yemen said: “We will be leaving Kuwait today but the Yemeni peace talks are continuing”. While expressing his condemnation of the decision to form a new council unilaterally, he added that both parties were guaranteed to return to the negotiation table.Following the Arab Spring wave, President Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted and replaced by AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2012. After the protests against the new president Hadi, Houthis, which is a group in Yemen gaining power since 2004, sieged the capital Sana’a. President AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned to protest the occupation of Houthis and went to Riyadh, which marked the start of the airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against the Houthi-held territories. On April, United States Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the Houthi militia was supported by Iran. However, Houthi rebels rejected the accusations of Iranian aid and accused the government of corruption and dependence on foreign powers.After lots of civilian casualties, the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh made a formal explanation declaring his alliance with the Houthi rebels on May 2015. With ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s involvement to gain territory in the region, the war got even more complex which is going on since March 2015. While the claims of the rebels being supported by Iran and the government forces by Saudi Arabia and the United States raises suspicions on the possibility of a proxy war in the region, Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country Yemen is struggling with scarcity and 10 million people have no food security. The inability to have an agreement in peace talks raises concerns about the security of civilians in the region who are already under threat.
By Öykü Deniz Aytemiz

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