The announcement of a truce in Yemen comes at a sensitive time for Saudi Arabia, which faces a drop in oil prices, and a burden in the face of the Corona pandemic. Analysts believe that the Saudi-Emirati alliance is in urgent need to get out of that war, while the Houthis are negotiating from a position of strength.
According to a report published by Agence France-Presse, experts say that pressure on Saudi Arabia to reduce civilian losses in air strikes, and that its ally, the UAE reduced its military presence in Yemen last year, in addition to internal fighting within the ranks of the Yemeni government, has weakened the coalition and strengthened the Houthi position.
Ilana Deluger, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says that Saudi Arabia may want to get out of the Yemen war and is willing to pay a lot for reconstruction, but it is unlikely that she will sign an agreement stipulating its complete surrender.
Deluger believes that Saudi Arabia's priorities change and that the war is costly and cannot be won militarily, adding that "the threat of the new Corona virus has given a way to save face by declaring a ceasefire without appearing to surrender to the Houthis."
"There is no ceasefire agreement, the main players have agreed to so far," said International Crisis Group analyst Peter Salisbury, referring to the Houthis' rejection of the truce.
On Thursday, the United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths assured the Security Council of "significant progress" towards a comprehensive truce, after he had previously confirmed that stopping the fighting had become "urgent and crucial" after the first HIV infection emerged last Friday.
Although Saudi Arabia announced a two-week ceasefire in Yemen on April 9, fighting continues in several areas and coalition raids are continuing.
It seems that the Houthis are negotiating from a position of strength after achieving military gains towards Ma'rib Governorate, the last stronghold of government forces in northern Yemen. Before the coalition announced the truce, they proposed a "comprehensive solution to end the war" in which they demanded the end of the 2014 air, land and sea embargo.
Salisbury believes that the Houthis consider the ceasefire more than just a cessation of military activities, and also demand that the coalition pay the salaries of government employees in any future agreement over the next ten years and compensation for reconstruction.