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Yemen's Houthi Reject President's New Cabinet

  • VOA News

FILE - Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi speaks as he holds an agreement (L) signed between the government and Houthi rebels, in Sanaa, Sept. 21, 2014.

FILE - Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi speaks as he holds an agreement (L) signed between the government and Houthi rebels, in Sanaa, Sept. 21, 2014.

Yemen's Shi'ite rebels have rejected the new Cabinet put together by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, raising doubts about the chances of ending the country's political turmoil.

The rebels, known as Houthis, said Hadi's Cabinet choices violate a peace agreement signed in September and place private interests over the political process.

They called for an immediate reshuffling, but did not spell out what it would do next if the president refuses their demand.

Also Saturday, Yemen's ruling political party removed Hadi from the party's top ranks, weakening his authority at a time the country is in political turmoil.

The General People's Congress is split between supporters of Hadi and the country's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The party did not explain why it removed Hadi.

UN sanctions

The move came a day after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Saleh and two Yemeni Shi'ite Muslim leaders for threatening Yemen's peace and stability.

The U.S.-sponsored sanctions include a worldwide travel ban and a freezing of foreign assets.

The council agreed Saleh worked with the Houthis in undermining efforts by Hadi to establish stability and democracy.

Yemen has been in political upheaval since Saleh was forced to step down in 2012 following mass street protests against his rule.

The Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, and clashed with al-Qaida and Sunnis for control of other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, al-Qaida's Yemen branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said it tried to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Matthew Tueller.

On Saturday, the group said on its Twitter account that it planted two bombs on Thursday intended to killed the ambassador but that they were discovered right before they were due to explode.

The claim could not be immediately verified.

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