Party of late Yemen ex-President Saleh names new head | News | DW | 07.01.2018
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Party of late Yemen ex-President Saleh names new head

The party that led Yemen for 30 years appointed a new chief in the midst of the country's civil war. After switching sides twice, former party leader President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Houthi rebels in December.

The party of Yemen's slain former President Ali Abdullah Saleh (pictured above) appointed a new chief on Sunday, the General People's Congress Party announced at a press conference in the capital, Sanaa.

Sadek Amin Abu Raas is now the head of the party, which Saleh founded in 1982 and led until the wave of anti-authoritarianism brought on by the Arab Spring led to his ouster in 2012. He was replaced as president by his deputy Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

During his three-decade tenure, Saleh led several relatively successful military campaigns against the Houthis. After his expulsion, Saleh formed a surprise alliance with the Houthis, who were able take over Sanaa in 2014 with the backing of Iran.

He switched sides again in December 2017, announcing that he would support his one-time enemies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and President Hadi. He was then killed by a Houthi sniper while attempting to flee the capital later that same month.

President Hadi and the Houthis remained locked in a frozen civil war that is largely seen as a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran, who have backed opposing sides. The conflict has caused more than 10,000 deaths – more than half of them civilians – and a deepening humanitarian crisis that has left many in Yemen without enough food, drinking water or medical supplies. Aid organizations have regularly complained about both sides blocking access to the most desperate areas of the country.

es/rc (dpa, Reuters)

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