United Nations Security Council

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.

Expert Voices

Yemen cease-fire marks a breakthrough, but peace is far from secure

Yemen's foreign minister Khaled al-Yamani (L) and rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam (R) shake hands under the eyes of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres during peace consultations
Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in peace talks on December 13. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Houthi-led rebel movement agreed to a cease-fire in the port city of Hodeidah and its surrounding governorate on Thursday, following a week of UN–sponsored peace talks in Sweden.

Why it matters: The agreement follows mounting pressure from humanitarian groups; if it holds, it would mark a major diplomatic breakthrough. Since some 70% of basic commodities and relief aid flow through Hodeidah, keeping the port open is essential to staving off even more widespread food insecurity.

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