A new peace initiative for Yemen collapsed this weekend. Experts are now suspecting a more escalated brutal war in the country.
A summit between the Saudi-supported government and the Houthi rebels was planned on Thursday at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva. But all the hopes for the peace initiative were shattered when the Houthi rebels never showed up.
They refused to leave the capital of Jemen, Sana, saying that they had not received any UN guarantee that they would be able to return after the talks in Switzerland.
The analysts are fearing that both the parties will now resort to even more violence.
“We will pretty much see a military escalation. The failed Geneva talks will strengthen the Saudi-led coalition in the belief that only further losses on the battlefield will lead to the Houthi rebels giving up, says senior analyst Graham Griffith from the consulting company Control Risks.
But a military offensive will probably be hampered by all the criticisms that have become the coalition, he adds.
Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and their allies went into Yemen with the government’s approval in 2015 after the Houthi rebels took control of the capital in September 2014 and drove the country’s president Abd-Rabbi Mansour Hadi in exile. Major civilian losses during the three-year-war has led to massive international criticism of the coalition.
The collapse of the peace initiative, according to some experts, will lead to even greater distrust between the parties.
“Peace talks never started, and since there is no peace process to take into account, there will be fewer backlogs on both sides of the hill,” says researcher Aleksandar Mitreski at the University of Sydney.
On Saturday, the government of Yemen accused UN mission Martin Griffiths of taking the rebels into defense and not putting the load of the failed peace talk on their shoulders.
“Unfortunately, the UN does not have the capacity to level the relationship between the parties,” Mitreski believes.