US Special Envoy to Visit Yemen for Comprehensive Peace Process
The US Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, will visit the Gulf on Monday to advance the ongoing UN-led efforts to expand truce and launch a comprehensive peace process.
The US State Department said Lenderking will meet with Saudi, Yemeni, Emirati, Omani and international partners to discuss the necessary steps to secure a durable ceasefire and launch an inclusive, UN-mediated political process while ensuring continued efforts to ease the economic crisis and suffering of Yemenis.
The US also reiterated its commitment to supporting a resolution to the Yemen conflict as soon as possible. It is closely working with its international partners to build on the UN-mediated truce which has delivered the longest period of calm since the war began. Moreover, Lenderking will continue to mobilize support from donors to fulfill the remaining $22 million funding gap to scrap the tanker and tackle all residual environmental threats.
The Yemen war began in 2014 when Houthi insurgents (Shiite rebels-backed by Iran) took control of Sana’a, demanding lower fuel prices and a new government. It led to the fall of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in January 2015. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf states with US logistical and intelligence support launched a campaign of economic isolation and air strikes against the Houthi insurgents. This saw Yemen sucked into a regional proxy struggle along a broader Sunni-Shia divide.
The US plunged deeper into this conflict because of militarization of Yemen’s waters. The Yemen conflict soon evolved into the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. Over 19,000 civilians have been killed in Saudi Arabia and UAE’s unrelenting air campaign. But this didn’t deter the Houthi rebels. According to UN estimates, 60 percent of the estimated 377,000 deaths in Yemen between 2015 and the beginning of 2022 were the result of indirect causes like food insecurity and lack of accessible health services.
In April 2022, the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels reached a UN-brokered ceasefire. It should be noted that both sides have refrained from major escalatory actions and hostility levels remain low despite the official expiration of the ceasefire in October 2022.