By Mohamed al-Shabiri
UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed left the Saudi capital Riyadh on Wednesday without meeting Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi or any other government official to discuss the international body’s peace plan.
According to a senior government official, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to sensitivity of his position, the UN envoy had failed to convince the Yemeni government to accept the UN peace plan.
The same source added the UN envoy " met in Riyadh with some 18 ambassadors of the countries which sponsor the peace process in Yemen," without giving further details.
Ahmed told the UN Security Council late October that his peace plan envisaged the appointment of a new Yemeni vice-president and the formation of a national unity government.
The plan also called for the establishment of military and security "committees", tasked with overseeing the eventual surrender of weapons by the Houthis and their eventual withdrawal from the cities of Sanaa, Hodeida and Taiz.
Last Saturday, Hadi voiced his rejection of the peace plan, saying it "rewards the putschist [i.e., the Houthis] and sows the seeds of war."
Earlier this year, Hadi’s government and the Houthis engaged in two rounds of UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait, neither of which registered any breakthroughs.
Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.
The conflict escalated in March of last year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Muslim allies launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.
Since the conflict erupted two years ago, thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the violence and some three million forced to flee their homes.