Several months into a Saudi Arabia-led war against Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis, the pro-Saudi faction, the former government led by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has gained a little bit of territory around Aden, and that has raised international calls for some sort of settlement leading to elections.
That’s not seeming likely, however, with Hadi “government” officials still talking about a full-scale military victory nationwide after having taken one city and some nearby towns. The group’s Ambassador to the UN says victory is assured.
“They are on the run,” Ambassador Alyemany said of the Houthis, adding “my feeling is it’s going to be weeks before we can liberate the entire country from the coup.” Regional diplomats aren’t nearly so optimistic, and are urging the two sides to talk and settle things.
Hadi was a military leader “elected” in a single-candidate vote in 2013 after the Arab Spring resignation of long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. Hadi resigned himself in January after an offensive against the Houthis turned sour and the Houthis took over the capital city.
The UN already brokered one round of peace talks in Switzerland, but it failed when the two sides wouldn’t meet in the same room. The only time they were together turned ugly, when Hadi envoys attacked a Houthi spokesman at a press conference.