UN Halts Yemen Peace Talks for a Month, Pro-Saudi Forces Launch New Offensive

Claims Both Sides Committed to Returning to Talks Next Month

by Jason Ditz, August 07, 2016

The United Nations has announced a month-long halt to the Kuwait-based peace talks for Yemen, saying that both sides have committed to return to the talks in a month’s time, but leaving open the question of why they are taking an entire month off, when the talks haven’t achieved anything yet.

Indeed, the talks were going nowhere, but appeared to be virtually dead a week ago, when the UN offered a “draft peace proposal” which sought to enforce every single Saudi demand, while offering the Shi’ite Houthis nothing in return. Needless to say, this proposal was endorsed by the pro-Saudi forces, but spurned by the Houthis.

Pro-Saudi forces are conducting a major new offensive this weekend, though whether the offensive was launched after the talks were paused or just before is unclear. The UN issued a statement criticizing the Houthis for seating a new leadership council, but did not mention the new offensive.

The Houthi leadership council is a 10-person council, of which five members are from the Houthi movement, and the other five are from the former ruling party the General People’s Congress, which is the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Pro-Saudi forces haven’t issued any statements regarding the halt of the peace talks, but emphasized that they believe they will make decisive gains in the new offensive, expressing confidence that they will take the Nehm District.

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