The formation of a new Yemeni government, which followed the singing of the Riyadh Agreement between the internationally-recognised government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC), is an important step towards ending years of conflict in the Arab country.
The agreement will also allow the government and the council forces to focus on the real battle, fighting the Iran-backed Al Houthi militias, which could also speed up the political process to end the war.
The Yemen war, which began in 2014 when Al Houthis took over the capital Sana’a and captured the southern city of Aden before the Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia moved in and liberated it, has killed at least 100,000 of Yemenis, according to the United Nations, and led to unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Now, it is upon the UN and the international community to push for renewed talks that should force Al Houthis and their masters in Iran to commit to a permanent ceasefire and peaceful settlement, to restore the legitimate government in Sana’a and allow delivery of the much-needed humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people. We hope the UN will not let them down again
The Yemeni government now controls more than 85 per cent of the territory and was engaged in UN- sponsored talks to end the war. However, since 2018, the talks have been stalled by the refusal of Al Houthis to commit to peace, likely by their handlers in Tehran who continue to support the militias with advanced weapons, drones and military experts.
Back to the negotiating table
The talks were also complicated by the infighting within the Yemini coalition, the government and the STC. With the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, those parties can now unify their military efforts to defeat the Iran-backed rebels and force them to come back to the negotiating table.
The agreement also led to the formation of a new government, led by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi who reappointed Moeen Abdulmalik as Prime Minister. The government includes five minsters from the STC, an important gesture to cement the deal.
Saudi Arabia welcomed the signing of the agreement and government formation as an “important step toward ending the Yemeni crisis.” The UAE also welcomed the agreement and applauded the central role of Saudi Arabia in implementing it.
In its statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasised the importance of Yemeni forces’ unity to address the continuing threat of Al Houthi militias. The statement noted that the UAE will always stand by the Yemeni people and “support their legitimate aspirations for development, prosperity, peace and stability.”
Now, it is upon the UN and the international community to push for renewed talks that should force Al Houthis and their masters in Iran to commit to a permanent ceasefire and peaceful settlement, to restore the legitimate government in Sana’a and allow delivery of the much-needed humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people. We hope the UN will not let them down again.