News / Middle East

Yemen's Houthis Reject Government Move to Quell Protests

Protesters loyal to the Houthi Shi'ite group are blocked by riot police near the Cabinet's headquarters as they demonstrate to demand for the resignation of the government in Sana'a, Yemen, Sept. 1, 2014.
Protesters loyal to the Houthi Shi'ite group are blocked by riot police near the Cabinet's headquarters as they demonstrate to demand for the resignation of the government in Sana'a, Yemen, Sept. 1, 2014.
Reuters

Yemen's president dismissed his government on Tuesday, proposed a national unity administration and suggested reinstating fuel subsidies, government sources said, in moves to quell weeks of unrest by a rebel movement.

But the Houthis, a Shi'ite Muslim group that had massed tens of thousands of supporters in the capital Sana'a with camps set up near the Interior Ministry, rejected the compromise proposals by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The impasse raises fears of worsening instability in Yemen, an impoverished Arabian Peninsula state bordering oil exporting power Saudi Arabia, and which is also struggling with a stubborn al-Qaida insurgency and southern secessionists.

The Houthis, who are demanding that the government resign and subsidies be fully restored, have been fighting for years for more power for their Zaydi sect in north Yemen.

Government sources told Reuters that Hadi had dismissed his government, suggested a national unity administration and planned to reduce petrol and diesel prices by 30 percent to offset unpopular cuts to fuel subsidies, which had drained Yemeni coffers but buoyed impoverished citizens.

A government source said implementation of the initiative depended on the Houthis' acceptance.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, a spokesman for Houthi leader Abdulmalek al-Houthi, said in a statement on his Facebook page, “We do not agree to it. Our position is still that we [stand] by the Yemeni people who have gone out in a blessed popular revolution to demand their legitimate and just rights.”

A member of the Houthis' political bureau, Abdel Malik al-Hijri, told Reuters “What was demanded was a cancelation of the fuel price rise, and the lowering which was announced today represents nothing.”

With the Houthis' rejection, it is unclear what the government's next move will be. However, Hadi, in a speech before the meeting where the proposal was signed, suggested his patience was running out.

“I affirm that I will deal decisively with all attempts to shake security and carry out division,” he said in remarks on the state Saba news agency.

Insecurity and political turmoil have mounted in Yemen since Arab spring protests ousted veteran autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011 and Hadi took his place in a complex deal mediated by the United Nations, Gulf neighbors and the United States.

The United States and Saudi Arabia were alarmed by the rapid growth of al-Qaida in Yemen in the disorder created by the anti-Saleh uprising and are keen to avoid a spread into the majority Sunni Muslim state of sectarian bloodshed plaguing other regions of the Middle East.

In a copy of Hadi's initiative seen by Reuters, the president plans a minimum wage rise and the allotment of ministerial posts to the Houthis and other constituencies while retaining the right to the weightiest portfolios of finance, foreign affairs, defense and the interior.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More