Yemen rebel rift opens door to Saudi-brokered peace: ICG
Dubai, UAE - A rift in Yemen’s rebel camp has opened the door for Saudi Arabia to mediate in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Wednesday. Compounded by poverty, cholera and looming mass starvation, the Yemen war has claimed more than 8,500 lives since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government’s fight against Houthi rebels in 2015.
In a report, ICG said Saudi Arabia and its allies - including the US and Britain - should move fast to “capitalise on a division that they have encouraged”.
It said they should turn the political rift between Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Houthi allies into a ceasefire and ensure the rebels cut all ties with Iran. “The timing is ripe but the opportunity easily could slip away,” ICG said.
In August, rumoured tensions between Saleh and rebel chief Abdulmalik al-Huthi exploded in public, with the ex-president slamming his allies as militias and the Houthis openly threatening “backstabbers”. Ties between Saleh and the Houthi rebels remain tense.