Houthi rebels form Supreme Council to govern Yemen

Sanaa, July 29 (IANS/AKI) Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels and the General People’s Congress party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh formed a ‘supreme council’ to run war-wracked Yemen, the media reported.

Houthi-run state news agency sabanews.net citing a statement said this on Thursday. The statement did not name the 10 members of the council, whose creation the government condemned as a “new coup” and a blow to stalled UN-backed peace talks.

The council will “manage state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security,” the statement said.

“The aim is to unify efforts to confront the aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies,” the statement added, referring to the Saudi-led military coalition that began airstrikes against the rebels in March last year.

The ‘supreme council’ will have a rotating leadership that includes a president and a deputy from both sides, the statement said.

Yemen’s foreign minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi deplored the move.

“We call on the international community to condemn the new coup against constitutional legitimacy and to hold the Houthi-Saleh alliance responsible for foiling the talks,” he said.

The rebels had “missed an opportunity for peace, which the Yemeni people needed,” Mkhlafi added.

The move comes as UN-sponsored peace talks now underway in Kuwait show no sign of producing an agreement to end Yemen’s civil war.

A ceasefire accord between the Houthis and loyalists to president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has repeatedly been violated since it took effect in April.

Peace talks in Kuwait since then have done little to end fighting that has killed more than 6,400 people and displaced 2.8 million in the Arabian Peninsula state amid famine and a humanitarian crisis.

The Houthi rebels captured Sanaa in September 2014 and expanded their control to other parts of Yemen, advancing on Hadi’s temporary headquarters in the the southern city of Aden and forcing him to flee to Saudi Arabia.

In February last year, the rebels set up a ‘supreme revolutionary council’ iafter announcing they had dissolved Yemen’s government and parliament.

–IANS/AKI

pgh/

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