Yemen's new leaders take office as hope glimmers for war-torn country

AFP , Wednesday 20 Apr 2022

Yemen's new leaders took a ceremonial oath of office under tight security on Tuesday, completing a major shake-up aimed at ending seven years of war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Rashad al-Alimi,
File Photo: Rashad al-Alimi, President of Yemen s new leadership council, attends the last day of the conference on the conflict in Yemen, hosted by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabia s capital Riyadh on April 7, 2022. AFP

 

The newly formed, eight-man leadership council performed a largely symbolic swearing-in in Aden in front of members of a parliament elected in 2003, as hundreds of soldiers patrolled the southern city, a government official told AFP.

Ex-president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia when the war started in 2015, handed over his "full powers" to the new council in a televised address on April 7.

The ceremony was not announced in advance and was held at an undisclosed location for security reasons. In December 2020, about 20 people died in an attack on Aden airport as government officials arrived.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels took over the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention the following year and a war that has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.

A fragile, UN-brokered truce has been holding since April 2, the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, providing a rare respite from fighting.

UN special envoy Hans Grundberg attended the swearing-in, along with ambassadors from European and Arab countries, the government official and parliament members told AFP.

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