Peter Salisbury

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del autor incorporados a este sitio a partir del 1 de diciembre de 2006. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Palestinians searching through rubble in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, October 2023 Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Violent conflict is increasing in multiple parts of the world. In addition to Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, and the Israeli offensive on Gaza, raising the specter of a wider war in the Middle East, there has been a surge in violence across Syria, including a wave of armed drone attacks that threatened U.S. troops stationed there. In the Caucasus in late September, Azerbaijan seized the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh—forcing an estimated 150,000 ethnic Armenians to flee their historical home in the territory and setting the stage for renewed fighting with Armenia. Meanwhile, in Africa, the civil war in Sudan rages on, conflict has returned to Ethiopia, and a military takeover of Niger in July was the sixth coup across the Sahel and West Africa since 2020.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-government tribal fighters southeast of Marib, Yemen, December 2021. Ali Owidha / Reuters

Just a few months ago, the war in Yemen looked like one of the most intractable conflicts in the world. After seven years of brutal fighting, the country had disintegrated into a patchwork of increasingly well-armed rival groups backed by an array of outside powers, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). None of the actors involved in the conflict—the Houthi rebels who control Sanaa, Yemen’s capital; the numerous Yemeni groups battling the Houthis on the ground; Yemen’s internationally recognized government; or the Saudi-led coalition that backs the government—appeared willing to make the compromises needed to end the conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

Shiite Huthi rebels man a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city of Sanaa 15 November 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

In early 2014, I found myself in the sparsely furnished front room of a nondescript breezeblock villa in Aden, a city in southern Yemen that was once one of the busiest ports in the world. My host was a man who once fought alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and later helped what would become the local al-Qaeda franchise gain a foothold in Yemen.

He was recounting how, in 1993, a distant relative had arrived at his hideout in the mountains of Abyan, to Aden’s east. The visitor, a senior military official who like my host hailed from Abyan, had come from Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, with a message from President Ali Abdullah Saleh.…  Seguir leyendo »

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, flanked by senior Swedish, Swiss and UN officials, addresses a news conference after the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

Martin Griffiths, the outgoing UN envoy to Yemen, gave his final briefing to the UN Security Council on 15 June, painting what he said was a “bleak picture” of stalled efforts to broker a ceasefire and initiate talks over ending the country’s six-year civil war. Elite Yemeni and diplomatic circles are now abuzz with speculation about who will replace Griffiths, whom the UN has named as its new top humanitarian official. Yet the better question is not who the envoy will be, but what job description the new person will have. The situation in Yemen has changed significantly since the war broke out, and it is time for mediation efforts to catch up.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council: A Delicate Balancing Act

The past decade has witnessed the gradual destruction of Yemen’s pre-war power structures and the rise of new political forces. Perhaps no faction, not even the Huthis who control much of the northern highlands, better exemplifies these new networks than the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council (STC). Formed in April 2017, this self-styled southern government-in-waiting and its allies now hold most of Yemen’s four southern governorates, including the temporary capital, Aden, and almost a fifth of the cabinet seats in President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognised government. As part of the Saudi-brokered deal that brought it into government, the STC should also have a seat at the table if and when the UN convenes talks over a political settlement to end the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman walks in the old city of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. July 2019. CRISISGROUP/Peter Salisbury.

In December 2018, Western and international policymakers demonstrated something that Yemenis had long suspected: when motivated by developments on the ground or at home, they can produce (some) diplomatic results, as the United States did by pressuring Saudi Arabia and by extension the internationally recognised government of Yemen into accepting the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement. The deal, which averted a battle for the Red Sea port of Hodeida, is the signature diplomatic success story to date in the ongoing Yemeni conflict that began in late 2014. For the warring parties and to Yemeni and international observers, however, the agreement also symbolises the limits of external mediation in resolving the conflict: international pressure forced the parties to endorse the deal, but not to implement it.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mohamed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman witness the signing of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, at the Saudi Royal Diwan. SPA/Riyadh and Mohamed Bin Zayed Twitter account

The Riyadh Agreement, signed on 5 November, has averted a war within Yemen’s civil war, at least for the time being. The deal prevents a collapse of the fragile alliance of Yemeni forces that Saudi Arabia has supported since intervening in Yemen in March 2015 to prevent Huthi rebels from taking over the country. The question now is whether the agreement can act as a bridge to a nationwide political settlement or if it simply marks a pause before another round of violence.

By signing, the two parties to the agreement – the internationally recognised government of Yemen, led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) – have ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc.…  Seguir leyendo »

Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia on 14 September, 2019. REUTERS / Stringer

For much of 2019, Crisis Group has warned that a trigger event could spark direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, on one side, and Iran on the other, precipitating a regional conflagration. The combination of the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, Iranian pushback, the spiralling civil war in Yemen and the paucity of de-escalation channels available to the rival actors has primed the region for such an outcome, even if neither side wants it. Now more than ever, cooler heads are needed to lower the temperature, break the escalatory cycle and chart a diplomatic off-ramp.

The exact nature and provenance of the attacks remains disputed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, who is leading a joint committee of government and rebel representatives, tasked with overseeing a truce in the Red Sea port city and the withdrawal of both parties, speaks with an official in Hodeidah on 13 January 2019 AFP.

In December 2018, representatives of Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the rebel Huthi movement did something unexpected: they agreed on something. At UN-mediated talks in Sweden, the two parties announced what is now known as the Stockholm Agreement.

You can read our analysis of the agreement here, but its key components were a prisoner swap, an agreement for mutual redeployments from Hodeida – the port, the city and environs – and a commitment to discuss de-escalation at another front-line city, Taiz. The Hodeida agreement in particular was vital. A battle around this Red Sea port threatened to cut off a trade route that accounts for 70 per cent of key goods shipped into Yemen, thereby pushing the country into famine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Head of Houthi delegation Mohammed Abdul-Salam and Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman shake hands next to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom , during the Yemen peace talks in Sweden December 13, 2018. TT News Agency/Pontus Lundahl

What does the ceasefire mean?

The Hodeida ceasefire is a first step toward implementing an agreement reached at UN-led talks between Yemen’s internationally recognised government and Huthi rebels in Sweden on 13 December to demilitarise Hodeida city and port, and the wider Red Sea trade corridor. Early reports of ceasefire violations are troubling but not unexpected for a process that likely will encounter more than a few bumps in the road.

Hodeida is currently held by the Huthis and surrounded by rival fighters. Under the agreement, the rebels and the government agreed to remove their military forces from both the port facilities and the city, and also from the nearby port of Salif and Ras Issa oil terminal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last week, Yemen’s Houthi rebels and its internationally recognized government agreed to a deal in Sweden, known as the Stockholm agreement. It is made up of four key elements: a prisoner swap, the creation of a demilitarized zone around the country’s vital Red Sea trade corridor through a series of withdrawals by rival Yemeni forces, the formation of a committee to discuss the future of the contested city of Taiz, and a commitment for the Houthis and the government to reconvene at the end of December.

The agreement is meant to prevent the situation in Yemen from getting any worse rather than making it better, and even this was a big ask.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.N. envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks to the media during a visit to the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen November 23, 2018. Picture taken November 23, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong.

What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve?

In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have better success. The Huthis arrived in Sweden on 4 December, with the internationally recognised government due to arrive the next day.…  Seguir leyendo »

A father gives water to his malnourished daughter at a feeding center in a hospital in Hodeida, Yemen, in September. (Hani Mohammed/AP)

Analysts have long argued that, if left unchecked, Yemen’s political, economic and fiscal crises were all but certain to cause a massive, debilitating famine. As Yemen barrels toward this worst-case scenario, what is most disturbing is that there is no indication the trend will be stopped, even when people start dying in unprecedented numbers.

Almost four years into the country’s civil war, 22 million people in Yemen now require some sort of assistance. About 10,000 people contract cholera every week; there have been more than 1.2 million cases of the disease and more than 2,500 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.…  Seguir leyendo »

Workers inspect damage at the site of an air strike on the maintenance hub at the Hodeida port on 27 May, 2018. Abduljabbar Zeyad/REUTERS

Over the last two weeks, the latest attempt to set Yemen on the path to peace has collapsed, triggering what could become the bloodiest battle of a war approaching its fourth anniversary. In a 14 September letter to the UN Security Council, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it planned to renew its campaign to wrest Hodeida, a port city on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, from the control of the rebel Huthi movement. This came a week after precursory peace talks were meant to start in Geneva. The Huthis have pledged to battle UAE-backed forces to the last man.

Although not unexpected, the swift collapse of peace efforts is deeply disappointing.…  Seguir leyendo »

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at Sanaa international airport for talks on the key aid port of Hodeida where Huthi rebel fighters where Huthi rebel fighters are battling a regional coalition. Mohammed HUWAIS / AFP

The UN special envoy to Yemen has invited the principal parties in the country’s civil war to Geneva for “consultations”. With the war rapidly approaching its fifth year, Crisis Group Consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Geneva talks are important and what should happen next.

First of all, what is happening in Geneva and why does it matter?

After two years of political inertia, the talks are important simply because they are happening at all. Yet we should be cautious about what can be achieved. Given the lack of diplomatic progress since 2016, and an intensification of the fighting over the past eight months, bringing the two parties together would be an accomplishment in itself.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Shiite Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, on Dec. 5. (Hani Mohammed/AP)

December brought some of the biggest shifts in Yemen’s civil war since a Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in March 2015. On Dec. 4, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by members of the Zaydi Shiite Houthi movement with whom he had been allied until just a couple of days before. His death has led to newfound optimism in Riyadh and elsewhere that the Houthis can be defeated militarily in 2018.

Yet Saleh’s death has produced fewer substantive changes in the balance of power than might have been anticipated. And the incentives for many actors involved in the war to sustain rather than end it remain high.…  Seguir leyendo »

Portraits of Ali Abdullah Saleh in a shop in Sana'a in 2004. Photo: Getty Images.

Having avoided the fate of fellow Arab autocrats in 2011, Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed in a roadside gunfight while attempting to flee the capital Sanaa.

Saleh will be remembered as the man who shaped modern Yemen in his own image, but who was more willing to burn the country to the ground than relinquish power. Yet without his deal-making skills, the civil war he helped to spark and the devastating humanitarian crisis it caused are only likely to get worse.

Saleh's death came as a shock to most Yemenis. He loomed large over the country, living on his wits - he likened ruling Yemen to 'dancing on the head of snakes' - and was a consummate deal-maker who exceeded and outlived all expectations.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump attends the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on 21 May. Photo: Getty Images.

Since becoming president, Donald Trump’s proclivity for ‘unpredictability’ has been on full display. Whether this is a carefully thought-through strategy or simply the gloss the president and his inner circle apply to his freewheeling, chaotic and seemingly strategy-free approach to political leadership, the effects of that approach are being felt keenly in Washington DC and across the world. Nowhere is this truer than in ongoing political crisis in the Gulf, where not knowing the US’s next move is being equated in some corners with the US not having one.

The standoff between Qatar, three of its GCC neighbours and Egypt is the first major foreign policy crisis of Trump’s term in office.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Qatar Airways storefront in Riyadh. Photo: Getty Images.

This week Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced that they were again cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. In a sharp escalation, they have also closed their borders to Qatari aircraft and ships, and the Gulf states have said that Qatari citizens in their countries must leave within two weeks. It is unclear how the standoff will be resolved, but the Saudis and their neighbours are making a clear play for Western support, accusing Qatar’s government of backing terror groups including Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

How did we get here? Before 2011, few in the West knew much about Qatar, the tiny Gulf Arab emirate whose main claim to fame was being the richest per-capita country in the world thanks to an abundance of gas and a paucity of people.…  Seguir leyendo »

US Secretary of State John Kerry was in the Saudi city of Jeddah this week, with Yemen's brutal civil war high on the agenda as he met officials from Britain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Yemen's warring parties are in the midst of a bloody stalemate: The Zaydi Shia-led Houthi rebels who along with military loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have controlled Sana'a, the Yemeni capital, since their joint coup in September 2014; and Saudi-backed anti-Houthi forces ostensibly led by the President in exile Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who are supported by the Saudis, most notably through a campaign of aerial bombardment in Houthi-controlled parts of the country.…  Seguir leyendo »