1. Separatists gain important ground
As the war in Yemen continues, Yemen’s Southern Separatists took control of all government military camps in Aden on Saturday. This is a development that complicates hopes of an end to the war. Battles had resumed at dawn, marking it the fourth straight day of clashes between the separatists and government forces in the port city. The separatists took control of all military camps in the city belonging to the internationally-recognised government, a government official said. It will be hard to negotiate for peace now that the separatists have gained important ground in the crucial port city of Aden.
2. UAE withdrawal’s impact on Yemen
In recent months, the UAE who had been one of the strongest presences in Yemen, has begun to draw down its forces in the nation, pulling out several thousand troops in a move that leaves Saudi Arabia in a weaker position tactically. While the UAE is not quitting the war completely, its partial withdrawal leaves Saudi Arabia in a position where it’s unable to execute its initial plan, which was battering the rebels into submission, which had not been successful anyways. The UAE says its withdrawal of troops is in line with efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Houthi rebels, however the separatists’ latest advancements in Aden could complicate this.
3. UAE reconsidering withdrawal?
After the latest violence in Aden, the UAE has voiced its concern, and has called for responsible and stern dialogue with the Houthi rebels and terrorist groups, but has not changed its stance on the withdrawal of troops. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed stated that the UAE is doing everything possible to de-escalate the conflict, and added that UN envoy Martin Griffiths should push for the parties to de-escalate the situation in Aden, because of the negative impact it would have on the UN’s effort to maintain stability and security through dialogue and negotiations. The UAE’s persistence in its de-escalation plans, despite the rebels’ latest act of aggression, is a positive signal for prospective peace in Yemen.
4. UN calls for de-escalation
The United Nations’ special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, expressed concern about the flare-up in Aden. “I am alarmed by the military escalations in Aden today, including reports of clashes in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace. I am also deeply concerned by the recent rhetoric encouraging violence against Yemeni institutions,” he said in a statement, adding: “I call on the parties involved to abandon violence and engage in dialogue to resolve differences. I also urge all those with influence to de-escalate the situation and ensure the protection of civilians.” The UN is doing everything possible for peaceful negotiations to ensure, but it will not be easy, as tensions remain high between all parties.
5. Food aid resumes after two months
Meanwhile, a positive development has occurred for the people in Yemen, as the UN’s food aid to Yemen will resume after a 2-month break. The announcement that WFP food aid will resume after the Eid Al Adha festival next Monday, follows the signing of key technical annexes, the last of which was inked on Thursday, the agency spokesperson explained. “The Houthis have been engaging with us in the last few weeks to negotiate the document that we have signed together and more importantly to also to agree on the technical terms,” he said. This signals a willingness to negotiate with the UN, and therefore a bigger likelihood of peace talks to ensue.