Yemeni Civil War: Continuation of talks seen as best chance to get out of conflict amid rise of terror groups

Dubai―Yemeni peace talks concluded in Switzerland on Sunday without an agreement to end nine months of Yemeni civil war and foreign intervention, but rival factions will resume negotiations on January 14, a government delegation source said.

Analysts believe the latest round of talks represented the best chance yet to end the conflict given months of stalemate in ground combat and the rise of Daesh militants, who threaten both sides.

“The first round of Yemeni discussions ended with an agreement for them to be revived … in Ethiopia on the 14th of January,” the source said.

A military alliance of mostly Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen’s Al Houthi movement, an ally of Iran, in March to try to restore the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

It remains unclear whether the two sides have agreed to renew a troubled ceasefire which coincided with the start of the United Nations-backed talks on December 15.

Though Saudi Arabia and Al Houthis have accused each other of many violations of the ceasefire, it did significantly reduce the fighting and allowed for deliveries of small amounts of badly-needed aid to the war zones.

Fighting raged on Sunday between the warring factions on the final day of UN-backed peace talks that have made no major breakthrough in the face of repeated ceasefire violations.

The sides, who have been meeting since Tuesday behind closed doors, agreed Saturday to create “a neutral military committee” to monitor the collapsing ceasefire and another committee to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid, sources from both sides said.

But delegates said substantial progress had proved elusive.

“The negotiations have basically failed,” said a source with the delegation representing both the Al Houthi rebels and renegade troops still loyal to wealthy ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

He said that the ceasefire, which was meant to facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid, was “still-born”.

“We have not achieved any results,” agreed a source in President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government delegation.

The talks have among other things stumbled on the question of prisoners, with the rebels demanding swaps, while the government wants the Al Houthis to first liberate a number of its captives, including the president’s brother, several sources said.

Source: Gulf News


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