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Houthis refuse to withdraw from Sanaa

September 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm

The Yemeni president yesterday signed a peace agreement with the Houthis in Sanaa, in the presence of a UN envoy.

The Yemeni government and the Houthis agreed to:

  • Form a technocratic government within 30 days
  • Reducing fuel prices
  • Form an economic committee within a week of forming the government to address the suffering of the people
  • Appoint Houthi and separatist advisors at the presidency
  • Remove the sit-in tents set up by the Houthis in Sanaa

The Houthis, however, refused to withdraw from the capital, despite the agreement.

The National Partnership and Peace Agreement, signed at the office of the president in southern Sanaa in the presence of UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar and all political factions, stipulates the formation of an interim government within three days and naming an independent prime minister.

The Houthis, however, refused to sign the security annex of the agreement which stipulates their withdrawal from Amran province, which they seized three months ago, and the areas they seized in the two provinces of Al-Jawf and Marib.

The agreement came after the Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa submitted his resignation. He accused President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of monopolising power.

For weeks, the Houthis have been staging protests and sit-ins at the entrances of Sanaa and near the headquarters of ministries in the city centre, calling for the resignation of the government and a reduction of fuel prices.

Critics of the Houthis accuse them of seeking a return to the monarchy, overthrown by a revolution in 1962.

The Houthis, a Zaydi Shia group, was founded in 1992 by Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi who was killed by government forces in 2004. Between 2004 and 2010, Yemen witnessed six wars between Houthis, in northern Yemen, and the government, leading to thousands of fatalities and injuries.