After much demand, Iran backed Houthi rebels have arrived at Sweden and are a big step in itself. These informal talks are aimed at ending nearly four years of civil war in Yemen.
A UN team will work alongside delegations from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels at Johannesbergs castle outside Stockholm to enable informal talks due to last a week. Talks are not expected to deliver a breakthrough but correspondents say the key aim of this round is to prevent an all-out battle for the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah where thousands of civilians are trapped.
“On some issues, it will make sense for the two sides to sit together, on others they will discuss in separate groups,”
The war has had a disastrous effect on Yemen, killing more than 6,000 civilians and injuring more than 10,000. The country is not just suffering from poverty but is suffering from Famine- worst than any country in the world has faced. More than 5 million children are at risk of malnutrition and as the war escalates, the numbers will continue to increase. Thousands of more civilians have died from preventable causes, disease and poor health.
The World Health Organization warned in October that about 10,000 new suspected cases of cholera were now being reported every week. U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths hopes that at least if they start talking about a different future, and start taking steps which can ease a dire humanitarian crisis. Yemen desperately needs to avert an even greater disaster.
The Saudi-led coalition has received support from many Arab states such as UAE and Egypt. The coalition rose to help Yemenis and contain the war by building hospitals, temporary shelters, providing medical aid and food, but are still a long way from restoring the government.
The Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni government allies still believe taking Hudaydah from the Houthis is the best way to bring an end to this war. The Hudaydah port is the most important spot through which aid and food come in and the Houthis repeatedly target that area, thus destroying food and other medical resources that come into the country.