(Reuters) – The United Nations is renewing efforts to end the Yemen war under a peace plan that calls for a ceasefire between the Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-aligned Houthi insurgents, and the formation of a transitional governance deal.
The nearly four-year-old conflict pits the Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, against forces backed by a Sunni Muslim coalition trying to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths, who was named to the post in February, convenes the warring parties in Sweden on Thursday for consultations for the first time since 2016.
The U.N. has sponsored a series of talks aimed at ending the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of starvation.
Below are U.N.-sponsored talks reported by Reuters:
* Sept 8, 2018, Geneva: Talks are abandoned after three days of waiting for the Houthi delegation, which failed to show up. The group accused the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of preventing its delegation from traveling.
– The Houthis wanted to fly on a plane supplied by Oman without coalition inspections, and evacuate some wounded to Muscat for treatment. The Yemeni government says the Houthis are trying to sabotage talks.
– Griffiths discusses confidence-building measures with Hadi’s delegation, including prisoner swaps, increasing humanitarian access and reopening Sanaa airport.
* April 21, 2016, Kuwait: Talks bring together the Houthis and their General People’s Congress allies with Hadi’s government.
– Suspended on May 1 by the Yemeni government after the Houthis capture a military base north of Sanaa. Resume May 4.
– Suspended on May 17 by the Yemeni government, which demanded that the Houthis first commit to withdrawing from captured cities and handing over their arms. Resume May 21.
– Suspended on Aug. 1 after the Yemeni government walks out when Houthis reject a plan proposed by U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed calling on the group to quit three main cities, including Sanaa, ahead of talks to form a government that would include the Houthis.
– Adjourned by U.N. envoy August 6.
* Jan 14, 2016: Talks scheduled to take place but are repeatedly postponed due to tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are fighting a proxy war in Yemen, and disagreement over whether a ceasefire is needed for a new round of talks.
* Dec 15, 2015, Geneva: U.N. Special Envoy Ahmed launches direct talks between the two sides. They are suspended the next day after the Houthis reject government demands to release detained senior officials. Indirect talks between the parties end on Dec. 20
* April 16, 2015, The U.N. envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, resigns three weeks after the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen. He was accused by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for being too accommodating toward the Houthis.
Reporting by Aziz El Yaakhoubi and Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Giles Elgood