In addition to these setbacks, the question of who will secure the city of Hodeidah and its port remains controversial. Given the establishment of joint observation posts, the idea of joint local peacekeeping forces could be feasible to stabilize Hodeidah. Otherwise, there could be an escalation in the coming months if the UAE-sponsored Joint Forces, led by Brigadier General Tariq Saleh, get the green light or if the Houthis were to expand their military operations on the west coast, especially given the Yemeni government`s weakness in the liberated areas. The Stockholm agreement achieved far less than what the UN reported and what many Western observers expected. More than 95% of the prisoners listed remain in detention, the situation in Hodeidah has shown how much the UN cannot achieve and Taiz remains a prisoner in the middle. The lack of progress has reinforced the status quo throughout Yemen and set the conditions for further fragmentation rather than stabilization. Resolving this dilemma created by the United Nations is likely to be a long process until in-depth peace talks move forward or the parties decide to act differently. If anything is clear, it is that the fate of millions of Yemenis is at stake and that the United Nations has not learned from the mistakes of the past. Today, the latest attempt by the UNITED Nations could be to build momentum behind a peace process for some time. Mattis` exit in late December removed one of the few U.S.

politicians with a nuanced view of the war in Yemen and perhaps the only Trump administration official to have trusted both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi and have effective influence over the Gulf monarchies. If the Stockholm agreement collapses, Mattis` absence will likely be felt very much when the parties return to the table. The ceasefire between Yemeni Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in the port city of Hodeidah came into effect on December 18. The agreement was reached during UN mediation talks in Stockholm earlier this month. At the time of the negotiations, the city was almost in the hands of the Saudi-led coalition. The coalition had blocked the port, Yemen`s main humanitarian aid channel, for months, and fighters, mostly soldiers from the United Arab Emirates, were battling the rebels. But Saudi Arabia has come under increased global pressure to stop fighting in Yemen, after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate sparked a global outcry. The spotlight on Yemen and its deteriorating humanitarian situation was so strong after the Khashoggi affair that even the United States, which supports Riyadh in the war, reduced its participation by ending the refueling of coalition aircraft. Given that the UN has also insisted that talks be set up, the Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia, has given the green light to talks. The United Nations and the wider international community should push each side to immediately stop measures to provoke the other, to move away from the agreement. .

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