January 22, 2015

Yemen crisis: President resigns as rebels tighten hold

Shia Houthi rebels continued to ring the presidential palace in Sanaa on Thursday
Shia Houthi rebels continued to ring the presidential palace in Sanaa on Thursday

The president of Yemen has resigned along with his prime minister in protest at the takeover of the capital Sanaa by Shia Houthi rebels, creating a dangerous political vacuum.

President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi said he could not continue after the Houthis failed to honour a peace deal.

Parliament has reportedly refused to accept the resignations.

Rebel figures publicly welcomed the resignations with one proposing the creation of a ruling council.

The council would include Houthi-led groups, Abu al-Malek Yousef al-Fishi was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Houthi leaders had previously committed themselves to withdrawing from key positions around the presidential palace and the home of President Hadi.

Tribal gunmen in the oil-rich province of Maarib could be seen mustering on Thursday, apparently to ward off possible attacks by the Shia Houthi rebels
Tribal gunmen in the oil-rich province of Maarib could be seen mustering on Thursday, apparently to ward off possible attacks by the Shia Houthi rebels

The US, which is helping fight al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, said it was still assessing the implications of President Hadi’s move.

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