The Government of Yemen recognized by the international community and the rebel Huthi, who took power in Sana'a four years ago, you are going to discuss starting this Thursday in Sweden under the aegis of UN, announced on Wednesday the special envoy of the organization, Martin Griffiths. This is not technically of negotiations but as “consultations”, in which even it is sure going to be expensive. But this is the first time that both parties come to the appointment since April of 2016 when he failed a first attempt in Kuwait.
Where the event is held?
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In the castle of Johannesberg, the conference center is located 60 kilometers north of Stockholm and only 23 of the international airport of Arlanda, that the Swedish Government uses for this type of occasions.
Who is organizing it?
The UN through the secretary general's special envoy for Yemen, the british Martin Griffiths, with the support of Sweden. Griffiths was appointed in February and his previous attempt to reunite the two sides in Geneva last September, ran into organizational problems, which prevented the attendance of the rebels.
why is it so complicated sentarles to talk about?
Due to the interference of regional powers. Saudi Arabia saw in the rise of the rebels the hand of his arch rival Iran, with whom it disputes the political leadership and religious of the Near East. So, supported mainly by the United Arab Emirates intervened militarily in support of the Government of Abdrabbo Mansur Hadi in march 2015. This decision, which had the tacit support of the West, gave rise to Tehran to increase its influence, according to most observers, until then, was not significant, and punish your opponent without too much effort.
What has made it possible to accept now?
on the one hand, the imminence of a famine which is already threatening to half of the 28 million yemenis, according to the UN, and that none of the parties wants to be held accountable. On the other, both sides have seen an increase in the pressure: The rebels before the imminence of the assault to hodeida governorates on the part of the government troops. These, with the growing international scrutiny to the role of Saudi Arabia after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Who should attend?
on the part of the Government of president Hadi, who is exiled in Saudi Arabia after the coup, go and see a delegation of 12 people led by the Foreign minister, Khaled al-Yemani, in which he told THE COUNTRY that there would be “30% of women”.
The rebellious side, is the leader of the delegation Mohamed Abdelsalam, a spokesman for the Huthi, and includes four members of that group, and four other of its partner in the Government of National Salvation, a faction of the General Congress of the people (CGP), which supported the rebellion. Does not carry women.
Who are the Huthi?
A movement from the nineties of the last century sought to improve the living conditions of the minority zaydí (a branch of islam, shi'a that follows a third of the yemenis) and ended up standing against the State. On the road formed the most powerful militia in Yemen. Its formal name is Ansarullah, literally Supporters of God, but on the street will still know the name of the clan that initiated and continues to lead the group. Unhappy with the political arrangements that followed the arab spring protests in 2011, the Huthi moved into the capital in September 2014, where they counted with the support of troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who is in power, he waged six wars against them, and the murder a year ago when I was trying to switch sides).
What is the goal?
ultimately, put an end to the war that sparked the coup-Huthi. However, given the complexity of the conflict, the envoy of the UN has opted for a progressive approach that would start with several confidence-building measures: the exchange of prisoners, the reopening of the airport of Sana'a, the payment of the salaries of public employees and guarantees of access to humanitarian assistance throughout the territory. Only then we will consider the framework of reference proposed by Griffiths for a political solution in which both parties share power until elections are held.
What is the main obstacle?
politicians have little power against the military, and these continue to think that they earn more by continuing the war. From the government side, a company of militia only shares the goal of take to the Huthi in Sanaa, but the majority show little sympathy for Hadi or by a central Government. Some of these groups, as the Transitional Council of the South, have aspirations separatists at the moment are not going to be addressed. The rebellious side, they know that not even the best of cases will have the actual lever that's supposed to control the capital. Only the pressure from their employers to foreigners (and the cessation of the supply of weapons) will force both parties to an arrangement.
What's happening on the ground?
The pause in the fighting, reached in mid-November and remains so precarious. According to several yemeni consulted by THE COUNTRY, fighting has continued sporadically in hodeida governorates, and there have also been bombings from time to time in other areas.
Who else will be present in Sweden?
Representatives of the so-called G-19, which includes the ambassadors accredited in Yemen that left the country due to war or have presented their credentials to the Government-in-exile, and other international organizations that support the peace process.
in Addition, a european initiative and with the support of the French agency CFI and UNESCO, there will be 12 journalists yemenis following the conversations.