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Yemen’s president, PM resign

By AFP/BBC   |   22 January 2015   |   8:19 pm  

YEMEN’SPresident Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister, Khaled Baha, have resigned, officials said.

 Yemen has reached “total deadlock,” President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi said in a resignation letter to parliament on Thursday after a deadly standoff with Shiite militia.

Hadi, whose resignation was rejected by the speaker of parliament, said he had been unable to fulfil his aims as president since the militia overran most of the capital last September.

“We have suffered from numerous difficulties and the unwillingness of the main political actors to assume their responsibility to lead the country to calmer waters,” he said.

It comes amid an ongoing stand-off with Shia Houthi rebels.

Houthi gunmen have a tight grip on the capital, Sanaa, and are holding a presidential aide who was abducted last week.

There are reports that Yemen’s parliament has refused to accept the president’s resignation.

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

But despite winning concessions under a peace deal agreed on Wednesday, the rebels – who overran Sanaa in September – have not pulled back.

A senior rebel leader appeared to welcome the reported resignations, according to the Reuters news agency.

A message appearing on the Twitter account of Abu al-Malek Yousef al-Fishi said the development was a “glad tiding for all Yemenis,” the agency reported.

Political maze

A government source told the BBC that ministers were resigning in protest at the rebels’ challenge to Yemen’s sovereignty and their seizure of state institutions.

In a resignation letter, Prime Minister Khaled Baha said the cabinet did not want to be dragged into “an unconstructive political maze”.

But the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV channel and the AFP news agency are reporting that Yemen’s parliament has rejected the resignation offer of President Hadi.

There has been a week of violence in Sanaa with Houthi rebels involved in deadly exchanges with government forces.

On Monday, Houthi militiamen opened fire on Mr Baha’s convoy and then later laid siege to the presidential palace, where he was staying.

The resignation of the Yemeni president and his government is likely to plunge an already unstable country into uncharted territory.

It comes just a day after a deal was announced between the president and the Houthi rebels that was meant to paper over the sharpest edges of the current crisis.

The rebels received the concessions they demanded. For their part, they were meant to withdraw from the presidential palace and from Mr Hadi’s own house, as well as releasing a presidential aide they abducted last week.

They have done none of this. Mr Hadi and his government say they cannot continue under such conditions. Yemen was already close to chaos – now it seems it has no president and no government.



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