Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s Houthi rebels in indirect peace talks

Published November 13, 2019, 9:36 PM

by CJ Juntereal

By the Associated Press

Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels are holding indirect, behind-the-scenes talks to end the impoverished Arab country’s devastating five-year war.

Bodies covered in plastic lie on the ground amid the rubble of a Houthi detention center destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes, that killed at least 60 people and wounding several dozen according to officials and the rebels' health ministry, in Dhamar province, southwestern Yemen. A database project that tracks violence says Yemen's civil war has left more than 100,000 people dead since 2015. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, said Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, the war's death toll includes more than 12,000 civilians killed in attacks directly targeting civilians. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File/MANILA BULLETIN)
Bodies covered in plastic lie on the ground amid the rubble of a Houthi detention center destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes, that killed at least 60 people and wounding several dozen according to officials and the rebels’ health ministry, in Dhamar province, southwestern Yemen. A database project that tracks violence says Yemen’s civil war has left more than 100,000 people dead since 2015. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, said Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, the war’s death toll includes more than 12,000 civilians killed in attacks directly targeting civilians. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File/MANILA BULLETIN)

Officials from both sides have told The Associated Press that the negotiations are taking place with Oman, which borders both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as mediator.

The two sides have communicated via video conference over the past two months. That’s according to Gamal Amer, a negotiator for the Yemeni rebels known as Houthis. They have also talked through European intermediaries, according to three Houthi officials.

Yemen remains a divided country. The Houthis have controlled the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north since 2014.

The Saudi-led military coalition, which entered the war in 2015, is fighting on behalf of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his internationally recognized government.

 
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