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Yemen rebels set three-day deadline for power transfer

The Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, currently controlling capital Sana`a gave a three-day ultimatum for power transfer, in order to resolve the crisis that has engulfed the country.



Sana`a: The Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, currently controlling capital Sana`a gave a three-day ultimatum for power transfer, in order to resolve the crisis that has engulfed the country.

The Shia Houthi group, also known as "Ansarullah", based in Yemen`s far northern province of Saada, has been expanding their influence southwards, in spite of signing a UN-sponsored peace and power-sharing deal Sep 21, 2014.

In a statement published following a three-day conference held in the capital, the group said that the "revolutionary leadership" would take "necessary steps" if "peaceful transfer of power" failed, according to a Xinhua report.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah submitted their resignations late last month amid a standoff with the Houthis.

Following their resignations, the country has gone into a complete security vacuum, which might help militant groups expand their influence in the country.

Presidential sources revealed that Hadi might withdraw his resignation if the Houthi group stopped demanding power sharing. Notably, the Yemeni parliament had rejected the president`s resignation and called for an emergency session to resolve the crisis, but later postponed the meeting.

Government officials said domestic and international efforts were underway to convince Hadi to withdraw his resignation.

The Houthis have proposed the formation of a presidential council to replace the president.

On Tuesday, the Houthis set free Hadi`s chief of staff, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, whom they had kidnapped following an altercation over the draft constitution, which led to the ensuing crisis.

The rebels rejected the draft constitution, which divided Yemen into six federal regions and demanded amendments based on the outcome of the national reconciliation dialogue, which ended in January, last year.

The Houthis demanded that the country be divided into only two regions, instead of six and the country`s Zyadi Shia Muslims be given more rights.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has been attempting to broker a solution for the past two weeks, but the country`s political factions have not been able to arrive at a consensus.

The impoverished country has been facing rising secessionism and plots by the Al Qaeda in the southern part. Unrest has continued since 2011.

Mass protests had unseated the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012. However, since Hadi took over in 2012, his government has failed to implement substantial political and military reforms, not to mention promoting reconciliation among the various political factions in the country.

From Zee News

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