Houthis and Saudis Commit to New Ceasefire and Roadmap for Peace

The US has threatened to kill the peace deal over Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

The warring sides in Yemen have agreed to a new ceasefire and to work on a UN-led roadmap for peace, UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced on Saturday.

A shaky truce between the Houthis and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has held relatively well since April 2022, but no lasting peace deal has been signed. The announcement from Grundberg came after a series of talks between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, which has been based in Riyadh since 2014.

Grundberg’s office said the two sides agreed “to a set of measures to implement a nationwide ceasefire, improve living conditions in Yemen, and engage in preparations for the resumption of an inclusive political process.” The UN envoy will now “engage with the parties to establish a roadmap under UN auspices that includes these commitments and supports their implementation.”

The peace deal involves the payment of Yemeni civil workers living in Houthi-controlled areas, the easing of the blockade on the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, resuming more flights from the Sanaa airport, and the opening of roads around Taiz, a Yemeni city that has been under a Houthi siege.

The Guardian first reported the existence of a Yemen peace deal and said the US was threatening to kill it over Houthi attacks on Israeli-linked commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which have come in response to the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. The US could scuttle the agreement by redesignating the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization,” which would make the payment of civil workers and easing of the blockade impossible.

For their part, the Saudis appear determined to follow through on the peace deal, as Riyadh has been urging the US not to strike the Houthis directly in response to the Red Sea attacks. The US launched a naval task force and official military operation in the Red Sea and has intercepted Houthi drones and missiles but has so far not bombed targets in Yemen.

The war in Yemen has killed at least 377,000 people since 2015, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Gulf nations intervened to fight the Houthis with full support from the US. More than half of those killed in the war died due to starvation and disease caused by the US-backed coalition’s brutal bombing campaign and blockade on Yemen.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.