Yemen is another case where mediation efforts have largely stalled and failed since the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention aborted the imminent conclusion of an intra-Yemeni dialogue under UN auspices that involved all the major parties.
Until the Houthi military takeover of Sanaa in September 2014, Yemen was the only country that emerged from the Arab Spring with a negotiated transition and a road map for a democratic transition. The UN successfully mediated the power transfer in November 2011 and facilitated another 10-months-long inclusive Yemeni-led national dialogue that concluded with an agreement by all sides on a blueprint for democratic governance and for advancing the transition.
A series of miscalculations by all sides created the opportunity for spoilers and regional actors to abort this transition and turn the country into another theatre for their geopolitical competition. Security Council members who were, unlike in other conflicts, largely united in support of Yemen’s peaceful transition from 2011 to 2015 have since become ineffective, as several members have been competing ever since for arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The UN mediation has since stalled, and its credibility came under question. Sadly, despite the gravity of the situation, no real political process or meaningful mediation is currently underway.