Yemen’s UN-backed extended truce brings peace - analysis

This is considered to be the first real era of calm in seven years. The truce began back in April and was extended in June.

 PEOPLE SHOP at a market in Taiz, Yemen, just before the two-month nationwide truce took effect, on April 2. (photo credit: ANEES MAHYOUB/REUTERS)
PEOPLE SHOP at a market in Taiz, Yemen, just before the two-month nationwide truce took effect, on April 2.
(photo credit: ANEES MAHYOUB/REUTERS)

After an unprecedented decade of conflict, it appears Yemen could finally have some peace. The renewal of a UN-backed truce has become an important step toward ending the bloodshed in Yemen. The war in Yemen has many causes and has dragged on for years.

In its more recent form, it escalated after 2015 when the Iranian-backed Houthis threatened to take over much of the country. Saudi Arabia intervened to back the Yemen government, but the country was and still is deeply divided. Since then, a proxy war emerged where Iran used Yemen to test weapons such as missiles and drones. 

US, EU efforts to extend a truce

Washington and the EU have led efforts to try to extend a UN-backed truce in Yemen, which has now seemed to work. The European Union issued a statement, a copy of which was seen by Al-Ain News, where it said, "we welcome the announcement of the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, that the parties have agreed to another extension of the armistice in Yemen until October 2, 2022."  

This is considered to be the first real era of calm in seven years. The truce began back in April and was extended in June. The White House has supported the truce and also referred to it as “unprecedented calm.”

According to The National, the US has said that it urges “the Yemeni parties to seize this opportunity to work constructively under UN auspices to reach an inclusive, comprehensive agreement that includes steps to improve freedom of movement and expanded salary payments and that paves the way for a durable, Yemeni-led resolution to the conflict.” 

 A MILITARY drone is launched from an unknown location in Yemen last week, as viewed in this screenshot obtained from a handout video. (credit: Houthi Military Media/Reuters) A MILITARY drone is launched from an unknown location in Yemen last week, as viewed in this screenshot obtained from a handout video. (credit: Houthi Military Media/Reuters)

Where will the truce lead?

According to reports, the truce renewal will lead to the opening of roads in Taez and other governorates, “opening more destinations to and from Sanaa International Airport, and providing a regular flow of fuel to the ports of Hodeidah,” Al-Ain reported.

“An expanded agreement would also provide a chance to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire, address humanitarian and economic problems and prepare for the resumption of the Yemeni-led political process to reach a sustainable and just peace,” the UN said. 

How the truce impacts Iran and the broader Middle East

The truce could impact the broader region. Iran used Yemen to test its weapons. It based drones in Yemen and encouraged the Houthis to work with Hezbollah and also to threaten Israel.

Iran has also attacked ships in the Gulf of Oman near Yemen. It has also tried to infiltrate the Red Sea, leading to potential destabilization. This means that the US and US Central Command’s Navcent naval element has upped its commitment to countries and waterways in the region.

“An expanded agreement would also provide a chance to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire, address humanitarian and economic problems and prepare for the resumption of the Yemeni-led political process to reach a sustainable and just peace.”

United Nations

In the wake of the Abraham Accords that brought the US, Israel, Bahrain and UAE closer together, this is a positive development in terms of naval partnerships. However, the growing partnerships also meant there could be more tensions with Iran at sea.

Reducing the Yemen crisis gives Iran less of an excuse to meddle. It also could be helped by Saudi-Iran talks and Iran’s interests in the Gulf. Whatever the overall regional cause and context, what matters is that there is now peace in Yemen, hopefully for the next several months at least.