The ceasefire in Yemen is, at best, the first step on a long road to peace


A number of leaders of the internationally recognized Yemeni government said on Thursday that they supported the ceasefire, and Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reportedly called on loyalist troops to end the fighting. But Mr. Hadi and many of his ministers are in exile in Saudi Arabia and have little control over the fighters on the ground at home.

If the warring parties decide to enter into talks, which would take place by telephone and computer link, the United Nations has laid diplomatic foundations through months of talks with the two sides. But their participation is far from clear.

“Implementing a ceasefire is no small task, and the first test of that is going to be whether the parties show up for this virtual meeting,” said Alley.

Even if they do, the ceasefire is unlikely to last unless it is linked to a larger process aimed at solving the many problems that prevented the Yemenis from fighting.

“Without a political process underpinning a ceasefire, with no way out and without very tangible economic and humanitarian confidence-building measures, the ceasefire cannot be sustainable,” said Alley.

Saeed Al-Batati contributed to the reports of Al Mukalla, in Yemen, and Shuaib Almosawa of Sana.


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