Yemen in Turmoil as Presidential Resignation Rejected – Voice of America

Yemen’s parliament has rejected the resignation of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Parliament is holding an emergency session Friday to deal with the political fallout.

The president and his Cabinet tendered their resignations Thursday.

The move came amid a political tussle between the president and the Houthi militia that has gripped the country since Monday.

The Yemen government spokesman in Washington, Mohammed Albasha, announced the embattled president was stepping down via social media on Thursday.

Citing a Facebook post by Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, Reuters quoted him as saying the government does not want to be involved in “an unconstructive political maze.”

Speaking from Sanaa Thursday, U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar said the political crisis would only be resolved if the rival groups honor earlier agreements that call for power-sharing and an end to violence.

News of the resignation letters was met with a muted response from U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. She said the United States supports a “peaceful transition” in Yemen, but demurred on details of what that transition would be.

Psaki added that there has been no change in the security posture for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Yemen.

Witnesses said Houthi rebels remained outside the president’s house Thursday, a day after the two sides agreed to end a standoff in the country’s capital, Sanaa.

The agreement called for the rebels to withdraw and to release the president’s kidnapped chief of staff, who remains in the militia’s custody.

Hadi issued a statement Wednesday pledging to scrap a proposed constitutional change that Houthis opposed, and saying that Houthis and members of the southern separatist Hirak movement have a right to be appointed in all state institutions.

His support of a more inclusive Yemen followed three days of violence in Sana’a that drew international concern.

Houthi rebels seized de facto control of the capital in September, moving beyond their traditional rebellion in the north. Separatists continue to press their cause in the south, while militants from the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula continue to operate.


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