Yemen Peace Deal Falters on UN Demand for Houthis’ Surrender

Talks Extended for a Week, But Little Hope Remains

by Jason Ditz, July 31, 2016

Hope for Kuwait-based peace talks between Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis and the Saudi-backed government seems to be fading, with an agreement to extend the talks an additional week reached over the weekend, but no real chance remaining for a deal.

The UN draft peace proposal is the major issue, with the pro-Saudi forces loudly endorsing it, since it gives them literally everything they wanted from the start, and the Houthis rejecting it, since it demands that they unilaterally surrender and offers nothing in return.

Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen last year in an attempt to install the former Hadi government back in power. Hadi had resigned in January of 2015, but the Saudis insist he remains the rightful ruler of the country, and that there could be no compromise on the matter.

The Houthis recently made a deal with Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, on a joint ruling council for their territory, and the UN plan demanded that, in addition to ceding all territory to Hadi, they also immediately dissolve that new council. Needless to say, this lack of compromise is making it difficult to see what the next week of talks is going to settle.

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