Stories by Fatima Abo Alasrar

Expert Voices

Violence and mistrust jeopardize ceasefire at Yemeni ports

UN peacekeepers and acting governor of Hodeidah walking near port
Acting Governor of Hodeida Mohammed Ayash Quhaim with members of the UN mission. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A dispute over Houthi withdrawals from critical ports in Yemen is threatening the success of a deal negotiated late last year with the country's internationally recognized government.

Why it matters: The Stockholm agreement, considered a breakthrough when announced in December, was intended to improve Yemen’s dire humanitarian situation and build confidence between the government and the Iran-backed Houthis. But scant progress has been made, raising concerns about the UN’s ability to broker a permanent peace between the warring parties.

Expert Voices

Stockholm deal brings partial peace to Yemen, but fraught with risks

Rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam holds a press conference together with members of the delegation following the peace consultations taking place near Stockholm
Rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam during a press conference after UN-backed discussions, near Stockholm, Sweden, on December 13, 2018. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

The UN-backed discussions in Stockholm between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and Houthi rebels ended on Dec. 13 in a series of agreements that, if successfully implemented, will help alleviate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and may ultimately pave the way for a negotiated peace.

Why it matters: The two sides have been fighting since September 2014 in a conflict that has entangled regional powers, along with the U.S., and created a humanitarian catastrophe. The results of the Stockholm meeting could herald the war’s first real breakthrough, but both sides will need to quickly make good on their commitments, or the positive momentum could stall.