United Nations Initiative for a Two-Month Truce

Middle East and North Africa
Agreement name
United Nations Initiative for a Two-Month Truce
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Interim arrangement
Agreement/conflict level
Intrastate/intrastate conflict (Yemeni Civil Wars (1994) (2011 - )
The Republic of Yemen was formed in May 1990 after the merger between the Yemeni Arab Republic (YAR) in the north and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) in the south. The unification process was rushed and the final agreement between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and President Ali Salem al-Beidh was based on the imperfect promise of equality. Following the merger, integration of the militaries and civil services was at best incomplete or at times entirely non-existent. When Saleh’s General Congress Party (GPC) allied itself with the newly created Islamist Islah (‘reform’) party in 1993, the former ruling party of South Yemen – the Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) – was effectively side-lined in the 1993 General Elections. Violence involving the use of heavy weaponry and aerial bombardment erupted in April 1994 and on the 21 May 1994 Vice President al-Beidh declared the secession of the south, citing political centralization with the northern highland tribes, violence against the YSP and economic discrimination. In the midst of fighting, negotiations in Cairo, Egypt, collapsed. The war ended with the military victory of the north, and on the 1 October 1994, Ali Abdullah Saleh was elected President.

Despite the unification of Yemen in 1990, political power during the 1990s and 2000s remained centralized with the northern highland tribes, particularly the villages from which President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his confidants stemmed. The system of clientelism established through the ruling General People’s Congress party maintained relative loyalty among the fractured political allegiances of Yemen’s traditional tribal leadership. However, diminishing oil reserves and the shrinking opportunities for access to rent increased economic and political marginalization in Yemen’s peripheral communities. The degree of regionalism of conflicts is further defined by other local grievances. In the northern governorate of Sa’dah, a backlash was provoked among the local Zaydi Shi’a against Sunni Salafist cultural incursions resulting in six wars between 2004 and 2010. In the southern governorates of Hadramawt, Shabwa, al-Dhali and Abyan, civil and military personnel forcibly retired after the 1994 Civil War began protesting and eventually formed the secessionist Southern ‘al-Hiraak’ movement in 2007. Furthermore, tribal grievances have spurred attacks on oil companies and government installations to extract rents. Various takfiri groups including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also increased their presence since 1995.

The Yemen Spring in early 2011 allowed all these movements to express their joint displeasure. Moreover, factionalism in the regime split the already weak military and thus allowed the Houthis, the takfiris and tribal-based militia known as popular committees, to assert themselves militarily. Mandated by the UN-sponsored Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the National Dialogue held from March 2013 to January 2014 aimed at guaranteeing power-sharing among the different parties. However, the GCC Initiative only included formal political parties that did not accurately reflect political realities. Furthermore, provisions lacked adequate transitional justice and provided former-President Saleh, as well as others, full amnesty. As a result, little faith was placed in the process by formerly marginalized groups such as the Zaydi Shia Houthi rebels (Ansar Allah) and al-Hiraak who opted to increase their bargaining power vis-à-vis the state by strengthening their own territorial enclaves. In September 2014 the Houthis succeeded in capturing the capital Sana’a and gradually expanded their control southward. The subsequent UN-mediated Peace and National Partnership Agreement between transitional president Hadi and the Houthis on a federal, democratic Yemeni state, failed to be implemented as the Houthis successfully dissolved the parliament and deposed Hadi in January 2015. Following the Saudi military intervention to restore the Hadi government in March 2015, ceasefire attempts continuously failed. A two-year deadlock ensued until negotiations between the Houthis and the government of Yemen finally culminated in the Stockholm Agreement in December 2018. However, throughout 2019 the Saudi-led coalition continues to launch airstrikes. Furthermore, in May 2017 the Southern al-Hiraak movement had declared the secessionist formation of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), seizing the interim-capital Aden by January 2018. Territorial divisions between the Yemeni government, the Houthis, forces affiliated with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, local militias and tribes have continued to fracture the country.
Yemeni Civil Wars (1994) (2011 - ) )
Ceasefire/related (Ceasefire)
Conflict nature
Peace process
123: Yemen peace process
Copy of agreement unsigned, parties are understood as:
Saudi Arabia and the Coalition
Ansar Allah (Houthis)
Third parties
Copy of agreement unsigned, third party understood as:
United Nations (OSESGY)
A short two month ceasefire agreement during Ramadan between the conflict parties in Yemen calling for general conditions of ceasefire halting all offensive operations on the ground, in the air and by sea. The agreement provides for entry of supplies into the country including fuel by sea, commercial flights and opening up of roads. The agreement also makes the parties responsible for the modalities and timings of the truce, establishing the need for parties to inform affiliated fighting forces and put in place points of contact who should work with OSESGY to implement the agreement. On June 2nd 2022, the truce was extended for an additional two-month period, though no text of the extension has been made available.

Agreement document
YE_220402_United_Nations_Initiative_for_a_two-month_truce.pdf []

Main category
Page 1,
Truce will comprise the following elements:...
4. Once the Truce comes into effect, the SE will invite the parties to a meeting to agree on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates to facilitate the movement of civilian men, women and children, benefiting from the atmosphere of the Truce.

Women, girls and gender

No specific mention.
No specific mention.
Particular groups of women
No specific mention.
International law
No specific mention.
New institutions
No specific mention.
Violence against women
No specific mention.
Transitional justice
No specific mention.
Institutional reform
No specific mention.
Page 1,
Truce will comprise the following elements:...
4. Once the Truce comes into effect, the SE will invite the parties to a meeting to agree on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates to facilitate the movement of civilian men, women and children, benefiting from the atmosphere of the Truce.
No specific mention.
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh