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Yemeni president and Houthi rebels 'strike deal'

January 21, 2015

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has struck a deal with Houthi rebels who besieged his house, according to state media. The Shiite insurgents were reported to have been granted more political representation.

Jemen Präsidentenpalast Panzer Ruine 21.01.2015
Image: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

The Yemeni president was reported to have reached a deal on Wednesday evening with the rebels who took up positions outside his home two days ago.

The Houthi militia agreed to remove its troops from outside President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's home in return for a greater say in the country's affairs, according to state news agency SABA .

The Shiite rebel Houthi movement, in turn, agreed to release Hadi's chief of staff Ahmed bin Mubarak, and withdraw troops from all positions seized the capital, Sanaa, in the last three days.

Under terms reported by SABA, it will now be "possible to amend" a draft constitution - opposed by the Houthi - which stipulates the division of Yemen into six federal regions.

Awaiting a 'national dialogue'

"The draft constitution should be agreed upon by all factions," the text outlines, adding that Yemen "will be a federal state in accordance with the outcome of the national dialogue."

The agreement also promises that Houthis, known officially as Ansarullah, and other disgruntled factions will be treated equally in the allocation of public posts.

"Ansarullah and peaceful Southern Movement and all other political factions deprived of equal representation in state institutions will have the right to be appointed in these institutions," it said.

The violence in Sanaa, in which 35 people were killed - and its political implications - prompted the Sunni-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council to accuse the Houthis of an attempted coup.

rc/es (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)