The United Nations will also need to continue, if not strengthen, the concerted international pressure that has led to the Stockholm agreement. In the hope of building on the agreement and giving the United Nations a stronger mandate in Yemen, particularly for a hodeida peacekeeping observer mission, the UK revised a UN Security Council resolution it had drafted prior to talks with Sweden to establish a declaration of support for the Stockholm Agreement. The draft resolution contains a number of requests from the UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, which would help ease the current economic quagmire. The Stockholm agreement was the first agreement of the parties to the conflict in Yemen. It was the first time since Kuwait, which had been a party to the conflict since Kuwait in 2016, and for the first time since the beginning of the conflict, they managed to agree on several important issues aimed at mitigating the humanitarian situation in Yemen.In this, and the Stockholm consultations remain a step towards building trust between the parties – an essential asset for any successful peace-building effort. Like Saudi Arabia, the UAE saw the Huthis` unilateral redeployments from Hodeida somewhat skeptical; Unlike their neighbour, they also saw it as an opportunity. The lack of a trilateral verification mechanism to ensure that these redeployments have been fully seeded, but they have nevertheless partially addressed a central concern of the Emirates: withdrawing the revenues and port powers of the Houthis and placing UN personnel on the ground. More importantly, the redeployments allowed the United Arab Emirates to accelerate its own decline along the Red Sea coast, which it had implicitly begun a few weeks earlier. [fn] Crisis Group interview, senior UAE official, Abu Dhabi, June 2019.Hide Footnote In return, they have allowed the UAE to focus on its priority objective: to consolidate its influence in the South, where they have established strong links with separatists and other groups, and to reduce the role of Islamists and those who consider them extremists. Not only Al Qaeda, but also Islah – a Yemeni group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood that actively participates in the Saudi-led fight against the Houthis – is seen by Abu Dhabi as the real threat.
On the other hand, the fight against the Houthis had become an expensive distraction. 2- An executive mechanism to activate the prisoner exchange agreement. Several Yemeni groups have condemned the Houthi redistributions and the way the UN treats the post-Stockholm, each for its own reasons. Some, including the Hadi government, fear that the UN approach – which will leave the Houthis as the most influential political and security brokers in the city and port – could set a dangerous precedent for legitimising territorial control of the Houthis. [fn] Crisis Group interview, Yemeni government official, New York, May 2019.Hide Footnote The Hodeida agreement clearly states that this is not the case, and that the case is not meant as a model for future negotiations, but this has not reassured the government or its political base. [fn] The agreement states that „this agreement is not considered a precedent to be referred to in subsequent consultations or negotiations.“