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Yemeni President Hadi cedes power

April 7, 2022

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has transferred his powers to a presidential leadership council and relieved Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar of his duties.

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi
Hadi's government is backed by Saudi ArabiaImage: Xinhua/imago images

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ceded his powers to a new presidential leadership council, which will be tasked with running the government during a "transitional period."

Hadi also relieved Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar of his duties.

In a televised address, the president said the newly created body would lead negotiations to establish a permanent cease-fire and political settlement with Houthi rebels to end the nation's yearslong conflict.

Yemen has been locked in a devastating conflict between a Saudi-backed government and the Iran-aligned Houthis since late 2014.

Yemen's truce holding

The warring parties have agreed to a nationwide truce on Saturday for the first time since 2016.

Meant to last for two months, but eligible for renewal, it has led to a "significant reduction in violence," UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg said in a press conference Wednesday.

"However," the Swede added, "there are reports of some hostile military activities, particularly around Marib, which are of concern," adding that the truce represented "both a precious and precarious moment."

Grundberg cautioned that the cease-fire is not being monitored by the UN, and that the "responsibility to uphold the truce is squarely with the parties themselves.''

Yemen's new council tasked to reach a peace deal

The new presidential leadership council would assume the duties of the president and his deputy, and carry out political, military, and security duties for the Yemeni government.

It would be headed by Hadi's advisor Rashad al-Alimi, a security official who was also the former interior minister under president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

He has the support of Saudi Arabia, which has welcomed the Yemeni president's decision to transfer his powers to a new council, and urged the body to start negotiations with the Houthis.

Riyadh said it would arrange $2 billion (€1.8 million) of support for the war-torn country's economy, and another $1 billion would come from the United Emirates, which is part of a Saudi-led military coalition that backs Hadi.

The council's formation represents "the most consequential shift in the inner workings of the anti-Huthi bloc since the war began," Peter Salisbury, senior Yemen analyst for the International Crisis Group, said on Twitter.

lo,wd/sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)