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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid