Yemeni factions fail to reach deal in UN-backed peace talks
Yemeni political factions involved in indirect negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva have ended their deliberations without reaching an agreement.
On Thursday night, the representatives of Yemeni political factions from Sana’a, including the Ansarullah movement, submitted a proposed draft of an agreement to the delegates representing the regime of former fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi through UN Special Envoy to Sana’a Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
After discussing the proposed draft with the pro-Hadi delegation, the UN envoy brought back a modified draft to the delegation from Sana’a.
Negotiators from Sana’a did not accept the changes made to the original draft, including calls on Popular Committees to withdraw from the areas they have under control in Yemen.
Popular Committees, backed by Ansarullah, want the implementation of a ceasefire agreement as well as the formation of a transitional government in Yemen before withdrawing from the areas they have under control.
The draft discussed reportedly stressed the need for a humanitarian truce that would have run through the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan as well as a halt to the Saudi military against Yemen.
It also called for an agreement on the delivery of humanitarian aid to all conflict-stricken people across Yemen.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Muhammad Abdullah al-Zubairi, a member of the Yemeni delegation from Riyadh, who is attending the Geneva talks, said that excessive demands have forced the UN to overlook the main objective of Geneva talks.
Appeal for aid
The UN on Friday appealed for $1.6 billion to help the 21 million people in need of aid in Yemen, warning of a “looming catastrophe.”
Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), told reporters in Geneva that the money is needed to address the “constantly increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen” until the end of the current year.
He added that more than “21 million people, or 80 percent of the population, is now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian aid and/or protection.”
The UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland came as Riyadh is pushing ahead with its military campaign against its impoverished southern neighbor in an attempt to weaken the Houthi Ansarullah movement and bring Hadi back to power.
On Friday, Saudi warplanes carried out several airstrikes against Yemen’s northwestern city of Sa’ada, situated 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of the capital, Sana’a. There has been no information about possible casualties and the extent of damage inflicted, yet.
The UN says at least 2,600 people have been killed and 11,000 others wounded due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19.