Inside Story

Is peace in Yemen possible?

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said a ceasefire will take effect on Thursday, but will all sides honour the deal?

When an Arab alliance, made up of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, launched a military campaign against Yemen’s Houthi fighters in March last year, some analysts predicted a swift end to the fighting.

But 20 months later, the conflict is still unresolved.

More than 10,000 people have been killed, at least half of them civilians, another 35,000 wounded, and the UN peace envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has warned that the country is teetering on the “brink of the abyss”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is now hoping to change that, with less than two months left in his term.

Kerry says the Houthis, a group of Shia rebels that control the capital, Sanaa, and large swaths of the country, have agreed to a ceasefire beginning on Thursday.

But Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi says his government is not interested in a ceasefire or political talks with the rebels.

So why isn’t Yemen’s government interested in this truce? And how can this deal be implemented on the ground?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Adam Baron – Yemen analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Sama’a al-Hamdani – Yemen analyst.

Hakim al-Masmari – Editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper.