Will Saudi Arabia end war in Yemen?
The Yemen conflict began in late 2014 when Houthi rebels seized control of the Sanaa region of Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched a military operation to restore President Mansour Hadi’s rule.
The intervention initially consisted of a bombing campaign on Houthi Rebels and later a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen. USA & UK played an important role by deploying forces & military equipment in supports of the Saudi government
An estimated 20 million people – two-thirds of the Yemeni population – depend on humanitarian assistance from International countries. Around about two million children are acutely malnourished.
The war has killed more than 130,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Why did Saudi Arabia intervene in the Yemen Civil War?
Both Saudi Arabia and Iran are known as geopolitical Rivals. Saudi Arabia & Iran are engaged in proxy wars against each other to increase their influence in the Middle East.Saudi Arabia wanted to save the Arab Sunni Hadi-led government in Yemen.
The second reason the Saudis intervened was to balance the Iranian influence in the country. Both countries have been competing for regional hegemony for decades.The United States has backed the Saudi war from its start, with arms deliveries and diplomatic support.
The tragedy of starving children is widely blamed on the Saudis. Saudi Arabia has faced widespread criticism over the Yemen war, War has brought disaster for the Yemeni people. The Joe Biden administration, who stand for human rights, needs to make ending the war a priority
End of war?
Saudi Arabia is now desperate to get out of Yemen, and ready to talk peace.
In March 2021, Saudi Arabia has offered Yemen’s Houthi rebels a nationwide cease-fire plan to end the 6-year military conflict in the country.
The initiative calls for a cessation of hostilities under the UN supervision between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.
This signals a potential breakthrough in the long conflict in Yemen that has led to mass humanitarian concerns, as key ports to deliver aid have been blocked during the conflict by USA President Joe Biden.
The Biden administration is much more critical to the Saudi and the Iranian regimes for their atrocities in Yemen.
The new U.S. approach has pushed the two countries to get closer and start resolving their longstanding disputes.
President Joe Biden announced earlier this year that the US would end support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in Yemen. This move is supported by lawmakers as “historic.”
In March 2021, Saudi Arabia proposed a peace plan to end the war in Yemen. A cease-fire will be held if both sides agreed.
The Saudi-backed Yemeni government has welcomed the proposed cease-fire, describing it as a “response to international efforts aimed at ending the war and human sufferings.”
UN New envoy in Yemen :
In July 2021, Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg has become a new UN special envoy to Yemen for conflict resolution. He is welcomed by both Saudi Arabia & Houthi rebels.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Kingdom would stand by the new UN envoy and backed all peace efforts to end the war.
We wish him success in his new role and look forward to working with him. The Kingdom will continue to support all efforts to reach a political solution that helps bring peace and prosperity to Yemen
The internationally recognized government of Yemen also expressed support for the new UN envoy and repeated demands for resuming the peace process and reaching a political settlement that would end the Houthi takeover of power.
New envoy as a “knowledgeable diplomat about the Yemeni crisis.”.
At the same time, the U.S. would work toward peace in Yemen through diplomacy, something the administration believes will be easier now. The USA has removed itself from the war.
Given that Iran and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of the conflict in Yemen, the USA could lay the groundwork for a de-escalation of tensions between the two rivals.
The USA can offer them an opportunity to find common ground in ending the war.
The U.S. and its partners can find a way to get at least a measure for U.N.-led efforts to broker a cease-fire and bring the parties to the table for face-to-face negotiations.
Author: Hafsa Akram.
The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Defense Insight.