Roadmap to Extend Truce in Yemen Without a Conclusive Peace Agreement

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-12-24 11:01 AM UTC


Under the auspices of the United Nations, the Houthi group and the Yemeni government have agreed to extend the truce and resolve the issue of salary payments and oil and gas revenues, an informed source told Sheba Intelligence. 

According to the source, the items related to peace and ending the war in Yemen remain a roadmap to be discussed in the future. 


The source, who obtained a copy of the draft that will be signed, revealed the essence of the two points that were agreed upon in exchange for extending the truce, saying, "The Houthi group has agreed to devote the tax and customs revenues from imported oil through the port of Al-Hudaydah for the salaries of employees under its administration. The Yemeni government will be paying salaries for employees in areas under its control. The government will also hand over a monthly financial budget to the Houthi group that goes as a budget for the salaries of employees under the rule of the Houthis, in exchange for allowing the government to resume exporting oil and gas."


The source indicated no conditions were imposed on the Houthis to adhere to the 2014 payrolls, adding, "Money will be delivered to the Houthis without any conditions."


Yesterday, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said The UN roadmap will include, among other elements, the parties' commitment to implement a nationwide ceasefire, pay all public sector salaries, resume oil exports, open roads in Taiz and other parts of Yemen, and further ease restrictions on Sana'a Airport and the Hudaydah port.


The statement added, "The roadmap will also establish implementation mechanisms and prepare for a Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices."


This means there is no clear peace agreement yet and that what was agreed upon are merely measures to stop hostilities and improve the living situation. At the same time, other issues, such as the political process and the future governance system, remain unclear. According to the source, this agreement is similar to the Stockholm Agreement, which has not been fully implemented. 


The success of the UN roadmap is dependent on the extent of the adherence of the parties to the war to the UN plan. Therefore, there is still scanty hope for the success of the UN efforts as many previous agreements between the warring sides faltered, and confrontations resumed inside Yemen and the Saudi-Yemen borders. 


On the other hand, a Gulf diplomatic source told Sheba Intelligence that the United Arab Emirates is frustrated with the peace agreement that Saudi Arabia is seeking to reach with the Houthis in Yemen. 

The source added, "Abu Dhabi informed the Office of the United Nations Envoy and the Office of the United States Envoy that it is completely frustrated with Saudi Arabia's efforts to end the war in Yemen at a time when the Houthis are launching naval attacks on the Bab al-Mandab Strait."


The source indicated that the Houthis requested that their naval attacks should be separated from Yemen-related peace negotiations. According to the source, Saudi Arabia, the United Nations, and the Yemeni government agreed to that request. 


According to the diplomat, the UAE's letter to the offices of the UN and American envoys and the Omani mediator stated, "The Houthis cannot obtain a peace agreement while their attacks are not being discussed. The Houthis want to stop foreign intervention in Yemen at a time when their naval operations are attracting Western intervention in their country and the region."


The letter added, "Naval attacks do not serve the region, Yemen, nor do they serve the Houthis themselves or the areas under their control."


According to the Gulf diplomat, the Emiratis are also frustrated about not being included in the peace talks. He said, "There appear to be fears that any agreement will lead to a decline in their influence in the southern provinces, and this may push the American envoy to pressure to postpone any agreement between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia until the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are stopped."


The Yemeni Foreign Ministry welcomed the statement issued by the United Nations envoy, saying that any political settlement should consider the three references: the Gulf Initiative and its implementation mechanisms, the outcomes of Yemen's National Dialogue Conference, and Security Council Resolution 2216. The Houthis reject such references, which complicates reaching lasting peace in Yemen.