Illustration by Gauraang Biyani

Yemen Peace Deal Rejected

On Oct. 29, Former Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi rejected the UN's most recent peace proposal.

Oct 30, 2016

On Oct. 29, Former Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, the leader of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, officially rejected the U.N.’s most recent peace proposal. Former President Hadi said that the U.N. peace roadmap, "only opens a door towards more suffering and war and is not a map for peace.”
The rejection, according to the Associated Press, came after sizable international pressure to accept the deal from various major countries including the United States, France, China and Russia.
The U.N. envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed had submitted the peace proposal to the Houthi regime on Oct. 25. The proposal called for an agreement with various specifications whereby the Houthis would withdraw from Sanaa and other cities, and would transfer weapons to a third party. A new Vice President would be chosen and President Hadi would have to transfer power to the new Vice President. Finally, among other stipulations, the new government would represent equally the north and south of Yemen, which have historically been in tension.
Despite the proposal’s recent rejection by Hadi, the plan had received support from numerous countries, including the UAE, following its original announcement. On Oct. 27, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter:
“The UAE supports the efforts of U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed knowing that the mission of a mediator is always tough”
The most recently attempted peace plan also followed the collapse of peace talks in Kuwait in August and the recent 72-hour ceasefire on Oct. 17 which saw 11 people killed in the first 24 hours.
Currently, there are two major sides to the Yemeni conflict. The Houthis, a Shia political group backed by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. The Hadi government is largely supported by the Saudi-led coalition which includes the UAE, several other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and increasingly, the United States. The U.K., France and several predominantly Sunni Arab states have also supported the Saudi-led coalition, providing military, logistical and intelligence support.
The conflict started in 2011 with an uprising against former President Saleh during the Arab Spring. Vice President Hadi then took power. Since taking the presidency, President Hadi struggled to manage many problems in Yemen, most prominently the then militia groups in the north of the country, like the Houthis.
In 2014, the Houthis entered Sanaa with the support of former president Saleh and surrounded the presidential palace, placing President Hadi under house arrest. Under pressure, President Hadi and his government fled to Saudi Arabia in 2015.
Many Arab Sunni countries, led by Saudi Arabia, began a military air campaign in March 2015 to reestablish President Hadi’s government out of reported fears of expanding Iranian influence and the illegitimacy of the Houthi government.
President Hadi and his government were able to return from exile in late 2015 as coalition forces entered southern Yemen.
Since the beginning of the war in March 2015, more than 6,800 people have been killed and more than 34,300 people have been injured.
About 3.1 million people Yemenis are currently internally displaced in Yemen, and about 14 million people are suffering from food insecurity.
Looking to the future of the conflict, Gargash stated that "the aim of a political settlement is to give priority to the interest of Yemen and regional stability. U.N. efforts represent a chance to bring Yemenis back to the political track. Other alternatives are gloomy.”
Lina El Musa is a staff writer. Email her at
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