As 30 Yemeni patients boarded a plane out of Sana’a International Airport last week, they symbolized another small but significant step on Yemen’s tortured road to peace.Monday’s announcement of what is hoped to be a series of similar flights represents the latest positive development in a conflict beginning to show an increasing number of signs that the fighting may be finally ending. There is clearly a desire on the coalition side to resolve things through diplomacy rather than military means. It remains to be seen whether they have an opponent on the other side with that same willingness. Ever since the Iranian-backed Houthis swept down from the North, overthrowing Yemen’s internationally recognized government, the country has been in the grip of violence and destruction that at some points looked like it would never end.The millions still living under Houthi rule have seen their food aid diverted to the militia’s fighters, and their key infrastructure being turned into wartime barricades. Life in these areas has been acutely miserable, however, hopes are growing that they will be soon reprieved.That hope began in Stockholm in 2018, when after numerous false starts, a tentative accord was struck between the warring parties. This hasn’t been without significant complications due to numerous violations, primarily on the Houthi side. The militia prolonged the withdrawal from the port of Hodeidah and prevented UN access to the Red Sea grain mills.However, it heralded a sea change in attitudes, with both sides seemingly recognizing that diplomacy, rather than bullets, are the only way to end the fighting.Since Stockholm, there has been a marked reduction in the intensity of fighting. Confidence-building measures, such as the eventual demilitarization of Hodeidah and prisoner exchanges, as well as the recent medical air bridge announcement, are welcome developments.This isn’t to say we aren’t given regular reminders of how close to the surface violence remains. Only last month, a Houthi strike on a Yemeni military camp killed 116 people, in one of the civil war’s bloodiest incidents.Outside of Houthi-occupied territory, the picture is one of a gradual return to normality. In Mukalla, liberated by a combination of Emirati and Yemeni forces, the port has reopened, and an influx of aid from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the wider international community has allowed commerce and stability to return to a previously war-torn city. Elsewhere, a Saudi-brokered truce has seen a further defusing of tension between the Hadi government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council.Arguably, Yemen is now at its calmest since the civil war began. A number of Houthi provocations, in the form of continued missile and drone attacks, have failed to provoke a resumption in hostilities. This has set the country up for an opportunity in 2020 to finally end the death and destruction that Yemen’s people have had to endure for far too long.To build a more endurable peace, the Yemeni government must have a committed partner in the Houthis. So far, they have failed to fulfill this role. However, as the recent medical air bridge shows, the green shoots for peace are there. What the country needs now is a growth in the frequency and scale of these confidence-building measures.The writer is director of the Human Security Center.