Roadmap to end Yemen's conflict introduced in Kuwait

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed in Kuwait on Tuesday a roadmap to end the country's 14-month-long conflict between Houthi rebels, pro-government forces, and a Saudi-led military coalition. According to Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the roadmap would provide for the establishment of a national unity government and the implementation of security arrangements specified in UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which orders Houthi forces to withdraw from seized territory and relinquish their arms.

The roadmap would require the national unity government to ensure the delivery of basic services, address the recovery of Yemen’s economy, and prepare for a dialogue paving the way for a comprehensive solution. The roadmap would also define the remaining steps for a political solution, including the electoral law, the mandate of the institutions, which would oversee the transition period, and the completion of the draft constitution.

“The delegations have responded positively to the proposals, but have not yet reached an agreement on the sequencing of the different steps provided in the roadmap,” the envoy added.

Yemen is on the path to an agreement and each day of delay needlessly extends the country’s agony.

The implementation of Resolution 2216 is especially problematic, as the Houthis refuse to cede territory and arms before a political resolution is reached. Meanwhile, Hadi’s government resists proposals for a unity administration before the Houthis relinquish their territory, fearing it would undermine the exiled government’s legitimacy.

Earlier talks have resulted in the exchange of a number of prisoners while the cessation of hostilities, which has been violated by both sides yet remains in place, has allowed humanitarian aid to reach previously inaccessible areas.

The proposed roadmap comes after two months of negotiations between the warring parties. Ould Cheikh Ahmed is urging the two sides to speed up the process of reaching a final accord.