The UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is on a new regional tour to push Yemen’s peace consultations which are stalled since late last year, even as alarm grows over the humanitarian crisis in the country.
According to Yemeni sources, the envoy will meet Yemeni and Saudi officials in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Sources close to the UN envoy revealed that work is underway to launch a new round of consultations during the coming month of Ramadan. The parties concerned hope that the new round would be the prelude to signing a peace agreement.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed said recently, “We are at the preliminary stage, but time is also a real constraint for us, because my aim is to finish all of this before Ramadan,” he said, adding that he hoped “to enter into a new round of talks before Ramadan.”
The Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan is set to begin at around May 27 this year.
Even if Ould Cheikh Ahmed manages to get the parties to the table, any success will be hard-won. Since the conflict in Yemen escalated two years ago, all UN mediation attempts and seven declared ceasefires have failed.