The latest UN-backed ceasefire in Yemen took effect at midnight local time on Sunday, intended to provide a calm atmosphere for a round of peace talks scheduled to begin on April 18. Though there was some fighting in the hours leading up to the truce, there are also high hopes for it holding.
That’s because this time, Saudi Arabia is on the record as saying they, and the rest of their coalition, will actually respect the ceasefire, though they are threatening retaliation against violators already, even though there’ve been no reported violations.
That’s in stark contrast to the last couple of ceasefires, as the most recent one saw the Saudis launching airstrikes at roughly the same rate throughout, and before that, used a ceasefire as cover for a major offensive seizing territory around Aden.
Over a year into their war now, and still far from their oft-predicted total victory, Saudi officials seem more keen to negotiate this time around, though the pro-Saudi Yemeni forces are still insisting they’re conditioning the peace talks on the Shi’ite Houthis unilaterally surrendering to them.