UN envoy seeks internationalizing Yemen crisis

Alwaght-The UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is engaged in new efforts aimed at arriving at a ceasefire in Yemen while internationalizing the country’s crisis.

In an interview with Sky News, the UN envoy said the fresh bid is based on the Yemen peace talks which took place in Kuwait. He added that parties involved are expected to discuss a new roadmap aimed at resolving the Yemeni crisis.

A few days back, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Riyadh where he held talks with Saudi officials and played down media reports that Washington had decided to limit military support, including planned arms sales to the kingdom, over its war in Yemen. Kerry also held talks with diplomats from Britain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates to speak with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations special envoy to Yemen.

Meanwhile, meeting of De-escalation and Coordination Committee, being held in Jordan, is a pointer to UN efforts to engage more countries in the Yemeni crisis and internationalizing the conflict.

Presently countries such as Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Britain, the US, Jordan are directly or indirectly involved in the Yemen conflict.  These countries, apart from Oman which is an interlocutor, are allied to Saudi Arabia which is the main aggressor in Yemen.

This approach by the UN is meant to pressurize the Yemeni nation to accept any solution imposed by the so-called international community.

UN sidelining Saudi-Backed Mansour Hadi

The revival of Yemen talks and the latest proposal by Ould Cheikh Ahmed is based on sidelining Saudi-backed fugitive Abdu Rabuh Mansour Hadi and introducing a consensus based vice president as the head of the Riyadh-based group which claims to be the official representative of the Yemeni state. This vice president will then be mandated with naming a new prime minister within a month. All the sides in the talks, except Saudi Arabia and Mansour Hadi, have termed the latest plan as logical and negotiable. Saudi and Mansour Hadi’s opposition to it has led to the failure of the ceasefire and suspension of dialogue.

Mansour Hadi resigned as president in January 2015 and then fled to Saudi Arabia which launched a brutal military aggression against Yemen to restore him to power.

Kerry handing over Yemen’s file to Britain

The main objective of Kerry’s recent visit to Riyadh was to convince Saudi regime officials and Mansour Hadi to accept the latest roadmap presented by Ould Sheikh. In efforts to convince the Saudis, Kerry said the roadmap can be altered. During Kerry’s meetings with Saudi officials in Riyadh, several other regional actors and British representatives were also present with the specific objective of involving more international players. The other objective of Kerry’s visit to Riyadh was probably to hand over the Yemen file to Britain in case the US withdraws after Donald Trump officially assumes power on January the 20th of January.

Mansour Hadi is concerned that the roadmap will isolate him especially considering that during Kerry’s visit to Riyadh there was a deadly bomb attack in Aden, the supposed political capital of his government which resigned and is now based in Riyadh. The bomb blast was a blow to his legitimacy and an attempt to pressurize him to drop his hardline stance.

Washington hoped that a final deal in Yemen’s crisis be a boost to a tattered image of Obama’s foreign policy legacy.

Meanwhile, the Saudi regime seems to eagerly waiting for Trump to be sworn to see his foreign policy approach on Yemen crisis and other regional issues.