July 25, 2015 – Media reported on Saturday that a five-day ceasefire (Reuters) or humanitarian ceasefire (CNN) was to take hold in Yemen beginning on Sunday between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels.
So which is it?
It seems certain from the SPA report that what is planned is not a ceasefire, which would mean both sides have agreed to a longterm cessation of violence in conjunction with a political process to resolve the conflict.
Instead, it appears that the announced five day cessation of hostilities is a humanitarian pause, such as what was planned for earlier this month but which never took hold, and its sole purpose to allow in desperately needed aid supplies.
Here is a useful glossary from UN OCHA on pauses during conflict.
While the news of a pause to allow the delivery of aid is welcome, and absolutely vital, it seems like none of the parties is committed to a political process to resolve the conflict, and the UN appears unable to negotiate one.
- Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz