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UN seeks to kick-off Yemen peace talks in two months

April 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm

The United Nation’s envoy to Yemen plans to unveil a new framework to end the civil war which has entered its third year, Martin Griffiths told the Security Council yesterday.

“My plan is to put to the council within the next two months a framework for negotiations,” Martin Griffiths said. The UN’s main goal is for a political peace process to take place, while building “peace will be a larger task”.  All parties to the conflict have already signalled intent to join the talks.

Griffiths went on to warn about the uptick of Houthi ballistic missiles entering Saudi territory, beefed-up battles in Yemen’s north-western Saada governorate and Saudi-led coalition air raids across the strategic port city of Hudaydah. All of these new military offensives could “take peace off the table”.

“We all need urgently and creatively to find ways to diminish the chances of these game-changing events, upsetting and derailing the hopes of the great majority of Yemenis.”

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Last week, the Houthis used a drone to launch a strike on Saudi Arabia’s primary economy maker, Saudi Aramco, as part of a broader strategy to hinder the war economy impacting Yemen.  In the same week, the Houthis executed ballistic missiles towards the capital Riyadh. But the Saudi-led coalition responded saying any further attacks would invite a “painful” response, insinuating military retaliation.

Yemen’s internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested the Saudi-led coalition to launch an air war against the Houthis back in March 2015. More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict since, according to the UN.

In a bid to trigger the political process, Griffiths has travelled to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Oman since being appointed in early 2018. Last week Griffths told Oman that it has a “pivotal” role to play in conflict mediation.