Hope for Longer Ceasefire as Saudi, Yemen Truces Overlap

UN, US endorse unilateral truces

The calls for a Ramadan ceasefire in Yemen took a blow this week when the Houthis rejected the proposal, saying they need a deal that would end the naval blockade.

Both sides had offered unilateral truces this week, however, and on Wednesday Yemen got a sample of a ceasefire, as the two happened to overlap. That raised hope of going further and reviving the Ramadan plan.

UN and US officials praised the unilateral truces, and are pressing for the Ramadan ceasefire to be considered. The UN in particular called for the Saudis to ease their naval and air restrictions on north Yemen.

Food, medicine, and fuel are in short supply in Yemen, especially in the north, and a proper ceasefire could go a long way to getting shipments flowing. US officials suggested a stop to fighting in Maarib might help with fuel shortages.

That assumption is built around claims that Maarib is “oil-rich,” though in practice this is only by comparison to much poorer Yemeni provinces. The nation’s energy production is small, and they rely heavily on imports.

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.