The United Nation envoy's efforts to revive chances for a political solution to Yemen's longstanding crisis are overshadowed by major challenges and a recent uptick in military operations in Nehm, Al-Jawf and Marib. This paper sheds some light on the future of UN mediation in the war-ravaged country, especially UN envoy Martin Griffiths's pursuit of a new round of talks between the warring parties as well as active Western diplomatic moves to jump-start negotiations after the Riyadh agreement failed to deliver the intended outcome and the very slow implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.
In recent weeks, Europe has launched diplomatic efforts in an attempt to reinvigorate stalled peace talks in Yemen. A European delegation comprising the ambassadors to Yemen of the European Union, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden recently paid a visit to Aden and Sanaa, where they met with representatives from President Hadi’s internationally recognized government and a number of senior Houthi leaders. The British ambassador also met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Advisor to the President, and the chair of the committee on follow-up to the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
While no cases of coronavirus have been recorded yet in Yemen, it is only a matter of time before the virus reaches the country, at which point it is expected to spread widely and catastrophically. Such an epidemic is also expected to have political repercussions, with some parties, such as the United Nations, seeing it as an opportunity to bring an end to the conflict in the country.
This paper examines how coronavirus is expected to impact Yemen, in particular its effect on the political scene and the attempts by the international community to use it as an opportunity to put an end to the five-year-long conflict in the country.
From the initial crisis surrounding political transition, and through the ensuing war, the United Nations (UN) has played a variety of roles in Yemen, under its mandate from the international community.
The political role of traditional parties and groups in Yemen has diminished during the course of the ongoing conflict; some have splintered into separate groups and many have lost much of their structural and organizational capabilities.
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