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Yemen Peace Agreement

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  •  Recently USA has managed to bring the Internationally recognised Yemeni Government and the armed Houthi rebels in Sweden, which resulted in the announcement of a break-through agreement.
  • The document includes three provisions: a ceasefire along the Hodeidah front and the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port; an agreement on prisoner exchange; and a statement of understanding on the Yemeni city of Taiz.

The Sweden deal emphasized on the following:

  • Committing to a ceasefire in the city of Hodeidah and its ports.
  • Strengthening the presence of the United Nations in the city of Hodeidah and its ports.
  • Committing to not bringing any military reinforcements to both conflicting sides.
  • Facilitating free movement of civilians and goods.
  • Opening corridors for the arrival of humanitarian aid.
  • Depositing of all port revenues in the Yemeni Central Bank.
  • Removing all military manifestations in the city.
  • Clearing the city of Hodeidah and its ports from mines.
  • Yemeni security forces will handle Hodeidah and its ports’ security as per the Yemeni law.
  • Withdrawal of Houthis from the Hodeidah, Salif, Ras Eissa ports in the next 14 days.
  • A complete withdrawal of Houthis from the city of Hodeidah in the next 21 days.


  • Hodeidah's port is the entry point for most of Yemen's food imports, commercial goods and humanitarian aid; currently the country relies on imports for some 90 percent of its food and basic commodity needs.
  • The agreement on prisoner exchange and the statement of understanding on Taiz are also important. Agreeing on an executive mechanism for a prisoner swap is crucial to building confidence between the two parties. The release of prisoners will make a difference for thousands of Yemeni families, given that most people held by the Houthis are civilians imprisoned with no clear justification.
  • There are some challenges in this agreement like timeline of implementation is unreasonably tight. It was agreed that the ports shall be handed over within 14 days of the agreement to local police and authorities and city - within three weeks. This time might not be enough for the Houthis to withdraw and it is also unclear to what authority they are supposed to handover the city.
  • Another challenge is the fact that Houthi forces and their affiliates have become highly entrenched in Hodeidah. Even if and when Houthi military forces make their exit, the handover of power would not be achieved immediately as local security forces - such as the police - are full of Houthi partisans and sympathisers. Dismantling these unofficial networks to re-balance civilian power will be difficult and will need to be approached carefully.
  • Another major downside of the Stockholm consultations is that they failed to reach an agreement on two other key issues: the reopening of Sanaa International Airport and the reunification of Central Bank of Yemen, which was split along conflict divide in September 2016.
  • Moving forward, the international community needs to capitalise on the current momentum. This means both continuing to pressure the Saudi regime to end the conflict, while avoiding implicitly legitimising the armed Houthi movement's control of areas in northern Yemen. Houthi oppression of the population and their syphoning off of state revenues to fund their war effort must be raised during future negotiations and addressed.
  • Too often, the international discourse on the war in Yemen has been characterised by oversimplification, and consistent failures to capture the inherent complexities of the conflict on the ground. To ensure and sustain peace in Yemen, peace agreements must serve the interests of the Yemenis and reflect their local dynamics and structures. In this sense, the Stockholm Agreement should be seen as a good start, but the hard work of securing peace in Yemen is only beginning.


Mains Questions (Total:1)

What are the challenges associated with recently concluded ‘Yemen Peace agreement’? What should be the role of international community to resolve such conflicts?


Vishal Thakur By - Vishal Thakur
Posted On - 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM

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