Yemen president cedes powers to council as ceasefire holds

AFP , Thursday 7 Apr 2022

Yemen's president said Thursday he is handing his powers to a new leadership council, in a major shake-up in the coalition battling Houthi rebels as a fragile ceasefire takes hold.

Yemen president
File Photo: Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Sanaa on February 7, 2012. AFP

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi made the announcement in a televised statement on the final day of Yemen talks held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"I irreversibly delegate to this presidential leadership council my full powers," he said.

Saudi Arabia said it welcomed Hadi's announcement and pledged $3 billion in aid and support for its war-torn neighbour, some of it to be paid by the United Arab Emirates.

Hadi's internationally recognised government has been locked in conflict with the Iran-backed Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the north despite a Saudi-led military intervention launched in 2015.

Hadi has been based in Saudi Arabia since fleeing to the kingdom that year as rebel forces closed in on his last redoubt, the southern port city of Aden.

A United Nations-brokered truce that took effect last Saturday -- the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- has offered a glimmer of hope in the conflict which has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The truce came as discussions on Yemen were unfolding in Riyadh without the participation of the Houthis, who refused to attend talks on "enemy" territory.

The talks concluded Thursday with Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed calling on the new leadership council "to start negotiations with the Houthis under the supervision of the United Nations in order to reach a final and comprehensive political solution".

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