Issue 7 – May 2022 – Editorial

A publication of the METO University Network

by Lara Randl*

This issue’s editorial is dedicated to the truce between the opposing sides in Yemen’s civil war which came into effect in early April 2022. To put it into the words of UN General Secretary Guterres it ‘must be the start of a better future for the people of Yemen.’ The truce follows years of fighting and therefore marks the first step against the humanitarian catastrophe and towards conflict resolution.

First, it was instrumental to reduce the fighting between the Houthis who control a significant part of the country’s north and the Yemeni government forces. In fact, no airstrikes inside Yemen nor from Yemen across its borders were recorded since. Especially for civilians, it was a great relief. The reduced danger to access the frontline zones allows a stronger focus on humanitarian issues. In fact, the newly gained access through the Hodeida seaport and the reactivation of the airport in Sanaa allowed the delivery of humanitarian supplies, such as food and goods for critical medical assistance. With the first commercial flight in years taking off, the country showed what a great step in terms of trust on both sides has been made.

The truce also included the lifting of the fuel embargo by Saudi Arabia on the Houthi-held regions which allowed the first fuel delivery to Hodeidah in eleven months. Slowly, a return to vital services, including transportation and electricity is possible, and hopes for families to visit and reunite are more realistic.

Surely, the truce is vulnerable, and has been fixed to last two months which will be over at the end of May. Critics also mention that in the past, truces were not successful in achieving long-lasting peace efforts. Yet, this time, circumstances are different. Neither, the government forces backed by Saudi Arabia, nor the Houthis backed by Iran, are against an extension of the truce. Thus, it is likely to be more successful. For now, the conditions set by the Houthis have been met by the Sanaa government, which makes further negotiations with the government more attractive. Additionally, a negotiation framework through the UN may help discussions in equal terms.

All in all, whilst it is not set in stone, the truce in Yemen demonstrates that there is momentum in conflict resolution in the region and marks a cautious first step towards a lasting peace agreement to end the civil war.

What bright news to celebrate the seventh issue of the Bulletin!

* Lara Rendl is a MA student in Science and International Security in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Her studies focus on current security issues and the science underlying nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. As a graduate student researcher for METO, she analyses disarmament and conflict resolution in the Middle East. She previously interned at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs representing the Secretariat in the Conference of Disarmament, the meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Lara Rendl holds a Bachelor’s in European Social and Political Studies from University College London.

Our Team

This bulletin is bought to you by the following members of the METO University Network:

Giada del Russo (Coordinator)
Lara Rendl (Disarmament and Conflict Resolution)
Soukaina El Anaoui (Women)
Salma Wahaibi (Children)
Julia Chang (Migration & Refugees)
Britt Gronemeyer (Healthcare)

Yutong Zhang (Environment)
Arwa Syed (Food & Water Security)
Tamyra Selvarajan (Energy)
Molly Pimm (Education)
Harshul Singh (Culture)
Hilda Ariastuti (Archaeology)

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The articles selected for publication in this bulletin have been specially chosen in order to highlight the good work done every day across the region in order to improve the quality of life for citizens. It also highlights the advances in culture and the new archaelogical discoveries in the region, underlining that this region really has been a cradle of civilization for millenia.

The views expressed in the linked articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Middle East Treaty Organization and their inclusion in our bulletin should not be interpreted in any way other than we think they’re interesting stories that should be more widely known. We will never intentionally include articles that promote or condone violence and discrimination in any form.

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