For more than a month literally nothing has been accomplished at the peace negotiations between the government fraction and the Houthi-Saleh – Delegations in Kuwait. Although Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed, the UN special envoy for Yemen repeatedly announces optimistic messages the situation at the negotiation table is getting ever more uncompromising as the days go by.
As proclaimed on the first day of the negotiations the time sequence of the implementation of measures intended to bring about a transitional government of the national unity is the key issue for a solution. Should the handing over of weapons and pull out from occupied towns as requested by the Hadi-Delegation be prior, or the formation of a transitional government including the Houthi and the Moutamar followed by handing over weapons and towns as stipulated by the Houthi-Affash? Finally, it was rumoured that the Hadi-Delegation would be ready to accept a compromise after having boycotted he negotiations for four days, but no further progress transpired. Nor has it been confirmed that the exchange of prisoners, agreed upon to take place at the latest at the beginning of Ramadan, will come true.
Moreover, parallel to the negotiations of the Yemeni parties, discussions between the interventionist countries and their representatives take place with a view to safeguarding their interests in Yemen. Most actively involved are the Gulf countries and the USA. The promised donations for humanitarian purposes, aid supplies and reconstruction fall pitifully short of announcements and requirements. The government in Muscat has unusually explicitly voiced its intermediary role but apparently without success.
In simultaneous co-occurance with the blockade of the negotiations in Kuwait the ceasefire proclaimed on April 10th is ever less maintained. The bodies entrusted with monitoring the ceasefire in the five most affected provinces alJauf, Marib, Schabwa, alDhale and Taizz rarely succeed in avoiding the outbreak of acts of violence. On May 29th as many as 56 persons fell victims at clashes in the above provinces at the frontier lines between the Houthi-Affash and their opponents. The group of Houthi-Affash adversaries is now composed of ever fewer so-called “pro-Hadi” fighters but increasingly of soldiers fighting Saleh or the Houthis for several reasons, and of (Yemeni and foreign) mercenaries at the behest of the Saudi coalition. Simultaneously, the Saudi coalition carries out ever more low level flights over Sana´a and other towns, sometimes dropping bombs, sometimes purely as a threatening gesture.
The present situation is hopeless indeed. Since the fractions negotiating in Kuwait do not represent the actual political situation in Yemen and to a very limited extent the interests of the population. Quite on the contrary, they wish to promote their particular interests irrespective of any success of the peace endeavours and the improvement of the situation of the population who desires nothing more than peace soonest possible and the start of reconstruction. Also Aden has in the meantime become almost without electricity and, as in Hodeidah, where the people have been suffering for months, without refrigerators nor air condition at a temperature of 40 degrees in the shade. Ramadan is about to start in a few days, when the physical burden of fastening will further deteriorate conditions.
A recent devaluation of the Rial by ca. 10 % has even more accelerated the inflation and the rising prices for food, medicines, energy carriers and urgently needed solar panels. It will become extremely difficult for many Yemenis to spend the Holy months in line with their tradition.
Despite all these burdens and shortcomings we should like to wish all Yemenis a happy Ramadan, emotional security and trust within the family and hope for a better future.