In advance of UN-brokered peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva tomorrow, the Houthi-Saleh and pro-Hadi sides in Yemen’s civil war have agreed to a seven-day ceasefire starting at midnight tonight, local time (about five hours from when I’m writing this). I have no idea whether those talks have any chance of ending the war, though the safe bet is probably “no,” and the most realistic hope is that the two sides will agree to keep talking even after the fighting resumes. Obviously an extension of this ceasefire would be nice, but then maybe we should wait to see whether this ceasefire will actually stick for the full 7 days. A couple of high-ranking Saudi and Emirati officers were killed by the Houthis just hours before it was supposed to go into effect, so that raises the possibility that the fighting will continue unabated. Past efforts at ceasefires in Yemen haven’t held, so there’s that to consider as well. Still, even seven days without fighting would be a great thing for the war- and weather-battered Yemeni people, to the extent that the lull will allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to get to them.
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