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Riyadh presents ceasefire plan to Yemen’s Houthis

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Riyadh presents ceasefire plan to Yemen’s Houthis:


Context:

Saudi Arabia presented a new peace initiative to end the war in Yemen.

The initiative includes:

  • A nationwide ceasefire under UN supervision and the reopening of air and sea links.
  • Reopening of Sana’a airport, and allowing fuel and food imports through Hodeidah port, both of which are controlled by Riyadh’s enemies, the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.
  • Restarting of political negotiations between the Saudi-backed government and the Houthis.

The war in Yemen: Background:

  • The conflict has its roots in the Arab Spring of 2011, when an uprising forced the country’s long-time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
  • The political transition was supposed to bring stability to Yemen, one of the Middle East’s poorest nations, but President Hadi struggled to deal with various problems including militant attacks, corruption, food insecurity, and continuing loyalty of many military officers to Saleh.
  • Fighting began in 2014 when the Houthi Shia Muslim rebel movement took advantage of the new president’s weakness and seized control of northern Saada province and neighbouring areas.
  • The Houthis is a group of Zaidi Shia Muslims who ruled a kingdom there for nearly 1,000 years.

Why is Saudi Arabia in Yemen?

Saudi Arabia interfered in Yemen after the Shia Houthi rebels captured Sana’a, the capital city, and the internationally recognised government of President Hadi moved to the country’s south.

How bad is Yemen’s humanitarian situation?

Since the Saudi intervention in 2015, at least 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen, according to the WHO. The widespread damage caused to infrastructure by the coalition airstrikes and lack of supplies of food and medicines due to the blockade have pushed Yemen into a humanitarian catastrophe. About 12 million people are at the risk of starvation if aid doesn’t reach them fast. The country has also seen a massive cholera outbreak. A child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from preventable causes, says UNICEF.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Houthis?
  2. What is the crisis all about?
  3. Location of Yemen.

Sources: the Hindu.