Permanent peace not tactics

Permanent peace not tactics

Russia’s call for a “humanitarian” pause in the conflict in Yemen would have had more impact and given the UN Security Council a stronger mandate if Russia had elaborated on the fact that it is the Houthi faction that has ignored calls for a cease-fire and peace and made the incursions against global public opinion.
If there was a consensus to hold fire it would have to come with the rider that it is not used to regroup and replenish its armament to win a second wind.
This would be a legitimate fear for the coalition that never wanted an escalation in the first place and was left with no choice. This could also be the possible concern for the council not yet giving its okay to any such initiative.
The other aspect that needs discussing and inclusion in any multi-lateral negotiations is the recognition that Al-Qaeda still holds a fair amount of sway in the western regions of Yemen.
As things stand, the situation in Sanaa is grim but any offer by the Houthi leaders to come to the table has to be seen as move with the right intent and indicative of an unconditional surrender.
Otherwise, this huge commitment by Saudi Arabia and others comes to naught even if the freeze is for a 24-hour period.
There is an irony in that the coalition has no desire to pursue aggression but needs to know in no uncertain terms that sitting across the table is not a ruse and that assurance can only come from those who support the Houthis and have allowed them to take the current conflict into the urban enclaves.
The use of human shields is a major factor in the rising casualties and that is why the call to peace might well initiate the need to send in the coalition troops to ensure that disarming the factions is integral to the negotiations for the return of law, order and due process.
This is the right time for elements who can persuade the Houthi leadership to see the sense in putting down arms and ending the fighting to do just that.
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