UNSC to hold meeting on developments in Yemen

The UN Security Council will hold its monthly meeting to address the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Ceasefire talks for

Yemen Reuters

Photo: Reuters

The UN Security Council will hold its monthly meeting to address the ongoing civil war in Yemen.

Ceasefire talks for the five-year conflict between Houthi rebels and the Saudi coalition-backed Yemeni government have stalled. Saudi airstrikes resumed after a unilateral ceasefire ended in May and continue to wreak havoc on both military and civilian targets, while Houthi rockets launched into Saudi Arabia have prevented Riyadh from backing down. International aid to the 24 million displaced Yemenis has withered away during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising fears of increased food and health insecurity.

Although the secessionist Southern Transitional Council has withdrawn its claim of self-rule—uniting the Saudi-Gulf state coalition—the current stalemate with the Houthis is unlikely to change. Neither side is capable of militarily dislodging the other, and the lack of trust stymies negotiation efforts.

However, a change in US leadership in November could mean conditional pressure placed on Saudi Arabia. A Biden administration might leverage US military aid to incentivise Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ease his maximum pressure policy on the Houthis. Whether or not this will end the conflict is an open question. However, after five years, the current Saudi strategy appears to have only intensified instability in Yemen.

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