Yemen peace talks in Switzerland ends without agreement

UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland ends without agreement but another meeting is scheduled for January 14

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

UN-backed Yemen peace talks between warring parties in Switzerland

Updated Dec 26, 2015

Peace talks held in Switzerland to end the war in Yemen have ended without an agreement as the week-long ceasefire was reportedly violated by both sides time and again.  

The two warring parties will meet again on January 14 said UN's Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed during a news conference in the Swiss capital, but where the talks will be held has not been announced yet, although it is expected to be either in Switzerland or in Ethiopia.

“The participants to these talks have unanimously agreed that the ultimate objective that we all have is the end of this war and therefore to have a permanent ceasefire," Cheikh Ahmed said.

“In the next few days all my efforts will focus on that – a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire."

The conflict in Yemen started last year when the Iranian-backed Houthi militias - supported by militias allied with the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh - captured the capital Sanaa, proceed to head towards the southern cities and forced the government to flee to the neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition and started launching an aerial campaign after the current Yemeni President Abd Rabuh Mansour Hadi’s request to “save Yemen.”

However, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the two sides were still far from a permanent ceasefire, describing the trust between them as "nil."

“It’s very clear that in some cases the ceasefire was not respected and was violated from the first hours even of these talks," he said.

“We have had very senior military from both sides sitting together in the same room, discussing, looking at the map, contacting their operation room to stop – this is an incredible progress in my view. These people were just at the front, battling against each other,” he added.

According to the United Nations, at least 6,000 people have been killed in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, nearly half of them civilians and more than 27,000 have been injured since March.

War in the country has triggered an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Currently, 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs and protect their fundamental rights, including security and safety of civilians and provision of essential services.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.


TRTWorld and agencies