Saudi Arabia’s decision to launch air strikes in Yemen played spoilsport with an emerging power-sharing deal between the warring factions, suggested former UN envoy Jamal Benomar.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the former UN envoy claims that both the pro-government forces and Houthi rebels were on their way to work out a power-sharing deal when Saudi launched strikes on March 26, leading both the rival sides to harden their positions.
“When this campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all sides, including the Houthis,” Benomar told the WSJ.
According to the report, Benomar who recently resigned as UN Special Advisor to Yemen, is scheduled to address the UN Security Council behind closed doors on Monday and report on the suspended political talks.
Jamal Benomar was leading UN-brokered negotiations since January that involved a dozen of political factions in Yemen.
The former UN envoy claimed that the talks aimed at establishing an executive body to govern Yemen, of which the embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi would be a part of.
According to the power-sharing deal, the Houthis had agreed to Hadi’s mitigated powers and also accepted to remove their militias from captured cities.