Yemen president urges Houthi rebels to leave capital
SANAA : Yemeni President Abded Rabbo Mansour Hadi Friday urged Shiite rebels who overran Sanaa at the weekend to pull out of the capital, accusing them of breaching a UN-brokered peace accord.
Hadi’s call came as Washington ordered a cut in the number of American government staff in Yemen due to the “unpredictable” security situation, and an updated travel advice urged US citizens in Yemen to leave.
The Houthi rebels, who had besieged Sanaa for a month, seized key state installations Sunday without any resistance, after clashes on the city’s outskirts with Islamists from the Sunni Islah party and tribes killed more than 270 people. Hadi has so far failed to name a new prime minister as stipulated by the agreement to end the fighting, which was mediated by UN envoy Jamal Benomar and signed hours after the rebel takeover Sunday.
“The legitimate way to implement this agreement is to recognize the state’s authority over the whole country, especially Sanaa,” President Hadi said in an address to the nation.
“All installations and stolen weapons should be handed” back to the authorities, he said, referring to scores of tanks and armored vehicles rebels seized when they stormed army bases. “Settling accounts by force and acts of vengeance will not build a state,” Hadi said, addressing the rebels who had organized protests demanding the ouster of the government which they accused of corruption.“Does fighting corruption and state-building come through pillaging houses, miliary bases and government institutions,” asked the president.