Cairo – U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived yesterday to Sanaa in a new attempt to save U.N. efforts for reaching peace in Yemen, which are translated by a second round of talks between Yemeni warring parties expected in Kuwait tomorrow.
However, none of the participating delegations had yet arrived to Kuwait, while the Yemeni government had hinted it would not dispatch any of its members in the absence of clear assurances for implementing U.N. Resolution 2216.
Informed sources in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that Ould Cheikh will speak with the rebel parties (the Houthis and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh) and their delegations about the main conflicting issues currently on the list of talks, and which had failed in the first 70-day round to reach any solution.
Warring parties in Yemen bicker about the formation of a national unity government that rebels insist should be formed before implementing a U.N. Resolution, which calls on Houthis and their allies to withdraw from captured cities, hand over their weapons, and release hostages.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Yemeni source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Ould Cheikh’s meetings in Sanna might lead in the coming two days to the withdrawal of militias from important cities, as stipulated by Resolution 2216.
Ould Cheikh visited Sanaa after sitting with Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and a number of Yemeni officials in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The Yemeni presidency had told Ould Cheikh it needed written guarantees respecting U.N. Resolution 2216.
Separately, clashes renewed yesterday in the Nihm district, North Sanaa, between Yemeni Armed Forces and Houthi-Saleh militias. Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that government troops had succeeded in controlling the district of Jabl al-Zahab and a number of surrounding mountains.
Abdullah al-Shandaqi, the official spokesperson for Yemen’s popular resistance in Sanna, said government troops had seized large quantities of weapons and ammunitions from the occupied areas. Al-Shandaqi asserted 17 Houthi militia fighters were killed and tens were injured in the clashes, adding that eight army troops were killed and 12 others were injured.