Tense topics discussed in Yemen's second negotiation rounds

Tense topics discussed in Yemen's second negotiation rounds
2 min read
06 May, 2016
Political detainees as well as Yemen's security situation were among the topics discussed at the second face-to-face negotiations in Kuwait on Friday.

Yemen talks

Major political and security issues were discussed between warring factions of Yemen's conflict in the second face-to-face negotiations since the peace talks began three weeks ago.

Views on resolving the conflict, including the release of prisoners and detainees, were shared by the three joint working groups formed by the United Nations, envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed confirmed.

The teams were formed on Wednesday when the talks resumed following a three-day pause by the government delegation who withdrew when an army camp was seized by the rebels – a move which violates the UN-brokered ceasefire that began on April 10.

A breakthrough has yet to be seen as both factions continue to trade allegations of ceasefire violations.

"We have learned that ceasefire violations were committed in the past two days and this is a disturbing development," Ould Cheikh Ahmed told a news conference.

On Thursday, the head of the government delegation at the Yemen peace talks in Kuwait demanded action over rebel ceasefire violations in the besieged city of Taiz.

Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi said proposals were submitted to the UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, demanding the implementation of the April 11 ceasefire in Taiz – Yemen's third largest city and the target of rebel shelling in recent months.

Mikhlafi warned that the frequent Houthi attacks on the city under siege would "have serious consequences on the peace process", unless the international community mediated to bring a halt to the ongoing violations of an already fragile ceasefire.

But rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdessalam said it was the government that was responsible for the flare-up in Taiz.

"The forces of aggression are blocking political discussions in Kuwait... by invoking false pretexts alongside a serious escalation," Abdessalam tweeted.

More than 6,400 people have died – half of them civilians –since the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen in March 2015.

The Kuwait-based peace talks are the latest UN-brokered effort to resolve the conflict.