UN Envoy: Yemen Factions Don’t Want to Talk as Violence Escalates

Warns Fighting Has Growing Consequences for Civilians

Speaking today with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed lamented that two years into the Saudi War in Yemen, a solution was potentially close but neither side was willing to come to the table to negotiate.

Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015, vowing to reinstall former President Hadi in power. The Houthis, who ousted Hadi from the capital in the months before the invasion, have expressed support for a unity government in which Hadi would have a figurehead position.

But that talk largely stalled when Hadi wouldn’t accept a position short of the unlimited power his previous post held, and while the Saudis were said to be working on him at one point, nothing’s coming of it in months, and there’s been no new talking since.

While the Saudis expect to be able to eventually conquer the whole country, it’s not clear that they can really keep Hadi in power, and sooner or later the promise of free election is going to come up again, which once again raises the possibility of Hadi being ousted in favor of someone less pro-Saudi.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.