UN Envoy Concerned as Yemen Ceasefire Violation Claims Grow

Truce remains a 'fragile step' toward ending war

When a ceasefire finally comes in a long, bloody war, accusations of violations are inevitable. Though the truce seems to be holding by and large, Yemen is no exception, and between the two sides, over 260 violations have been claimed in just a few days.

Sides can claim violations for any number of reasons, including trying to anticipate a failure and shift the assignment of blame to the other side. The possibility is also that real violations did happen.

On a smaller level, that’s not hard to understand. Yemen is a complicated war, and outside of the pro-Saudi coalition and the Houthis, who agreed to the ceasefire, are any number of allies or sometimes-allies who are also involved in fighting in a smaller, more localized way, and may have other feelings on the truce.

UN envoy Hans Grundberg expressed concern, saying there is a “significant reduction of violence” but that the truce itself remains “fragile” amid all the claims of violations.

It wouldn’t take much to break the current ceasefire, but so far both sides are willing to tolerate the present levels, which are better than pre-ceasefire levels at any rate. There remain high hopes of parlaying this into a peace process, though this would be a lot easier to do if there was confidence that the ceasefire itself is being respected and is going to last.

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.