Saudi Ceasefire in Yemen Takes Effect, Houthis Say It’s Not Complete

Houthis will only join if blockade is lifted

On Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition’s unilateral ceasefire in Yemen took effect, and violence seems to be slowing down, even though the Houthi movement in Yemen has denied the ceasefire, and says they don’t consider the Saudi announcement to be complete.

The Houthis argument is that the Saudis are continuing to use military force to enforce a nation-wide naval blockade, and that so long as that continues, they don’t consider it a complete ceasefire.

Which isn’t to say this might not be an opportunity for the Houthis and Saudis to get into UN-brokered peace talks. There will be a short window of opportunity to do this, however, with the Saudi ceasefire only two weeks long, and an extension probably only coming if any progress is made.

The ceasefire was made in part because of concern that fighting would worsen the coronavirus pandemic in Yemen. Given Yemen’s medical shortages, this could be a disaster, though with the naval blockade intact, Yemen will remain vulnerable either way.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.