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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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