Saudi Coalition Announces Yemen Ceasefire, Aims to Organize Peace Talks

Ceasefire to begin on Thursday, last at least two weeks

Saudi Arabia announced a ceasefire on Wednesday in Yemen, saying the effort is to back a UN push to organize a proper peace process for the country. The ceasefire is to begin on Thursday, and will last two weeks, with options for extensions if progress is made.

It’s not clear if the Houthis are formally joining the ceasefire, but they did say they’d sent the UN a response on their vision for ending the war and the international blockade. In general, the Houthis have expressed support for the ceasefire process in the past.

And while the Hadi government has generally been an obstacle to the peace process, they’ve also embraced a UN call for a global ceasefire for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. Yemen is, after five years of war, more vulnerable to the pandemic than most.

Saudi officials made it clear that their concern about the pandemic is why they’re backing this ceasefire now. The coalition is also presenting this as a confidence-building measure to start the process, and this is going to be a big step, considering how much concern there is about the virus.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.