OPN Yemen
A general view of the city of Taiz, Yemen Image Credit: Reuters

The extension of the Yemen ceasefire, brokered by the United Nations, for two more months is an encouraging sign that the ongoing talks may yield the results all aspire for — a lasting solution that would preserve the country’s territorial integrity and meet its people’s hopes for a prosperous life.

Negotiating teams, from the UN-recognised government and the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia, will be returning to Jordan for more talks wherein the UN hopes to cement the current truce and turn it into a permanent one. According to the UN special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, “for the past two months, Yemenis have experienced the tangible benefits of the truce”.

Major military operations halted during the past two months, as per the UN. Terror attacks on Saudi border areas mostly stopped and more essential aid was allowed to come in thus easing the catastrophic humanitarian crisis, which began seven years ago when the Al Houthi militia, financed and armed by Iran, overthrew the legitimate government and captured the capital Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia, which presented several initiatives in the past few years to end the Yemen war and hosted different rounds of talks, has led the successful efforts to secure the truce extension, said US President Joe Biden who praised the kingdom’s “courageous leadership”.

The UAE, which also hailed the Saudi role, called on “all countries to support the ceasefire in Yemen and push the parties towards a comprehensive solution”.

A significant step

The Yemen truce is a significant step as it will ease the entry of the much need fuel imports and allow the resumption of commercial flights from the Sana’a airport.

More importantly, it is a major step towards a lasting peaceful solution to one of the longest military conflicts in the region, which killed thousands of Yemenis and pushed the country to the brink of starvation. It has devastated the country’s economy and its health and education systems.

The international community is now required to support those efforts, exerting the required pressure on Iran and its allied rebel militia, to ensure the success of the UN and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s efforts as they seek to end the war.

The Yemen war represented a major challenge to the region’s security and political order. It has raised the tension in this region to dangerous levels. It is high time the world stood by the UN and the Gulf states at this critical juncture, to make the Yemeni hopes for a decent lives a reality.