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Why Houthis Refuse to End War

Why Houthis Refuse to End War

Wednesday, 14 October, 2020 - 05:45
Houthi militants patrol a street in Hodeidah | Reuters

Political analysts believe that Houthi coup militias are fearful of allowing peace in war-torn Yemen because it would herald the group’s end.

“Any armed ideological group thrives on war,” political analyst Lutfi Noman said, pointing out that the fate of Houthis is closely tied to the war enduring.

“They (Houthis) benefit from crippling peace and for it to only be achieved under their own conditions,” Noman explained.

Houthis took over control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on September 21, 2014. Overrunning the city with the power of arms, they took advantage of the fragility of state institutions after the February 2011 revolution.

“War is an investment opportunity for most of the belligerents who do not consider the public interest. Peace, on the other hand, does not bring those parties the benefit, interest, influence, and power that wars provide and bring them,” Noman noted.

Over the past years, Houthis have revoked more than 70 agreements signed with other Yemeni parties. The group is notorious for not upholding their pledges.

The Stockholm Agreement, for example, is in danger of collapsing because Houthis have resumed military escalation in Hodeidah during the past days.

Houthis and the internationally recognized Yemeni government had signed the agreement in the Swedish capital in late 2018.

Political analyst and writer Hamdan al-Alyi clarified that Houthis fear peace because it would entail a critical shift in power.

“Ensuring the rights and freedoms of Yemenis like the right to education and the freedom of belief would pull the rug from under Houthi feet,” Ayli added, saying that Houthis only thrive amid public poverty and ignorance.

Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, is working on convincing the Yemeni parties of a draft joint declaration in which he put forward proposals for a comprehensive ceasefire, political and economic measures, and the launch of new peace talks.

Griffiths, however, clashed with the intransigence of the Houthis who rejected his proposals more than once.

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