Yemen: the ceasefire that wasn’t, but progress at peace talks

Last week’s Yemen peace talks in Switzerland have ended without making much progress, in part due to the fact that the ceasefire that was to accompany those talks never actually took hold. Saudi-Yemeni government forces today advanced closer to Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, than they’ve been since the Houthis captured the city last fall, in spite of the fact that they’re, you know, not supposed to be fighting at the moment. The Yemeni government announced yesterday that the “ceasefire” will be extended for another week (it was supposed to expire today), which seems like a pretty easy commitment to keep when a “ceasefire” doesn’t actually seem to cause anybody to cease firing. Why not extend it indefinitely, then just keep fighting anyway?

At least the news isn’t totally bleak: the two sides in Switzerland agreed to try talking again, on January 14 in Ethiopia. That commitment alone is something of a success.

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