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Yemeni President Transfers Power to Council

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2018, photo, Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters.

Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi has given up his powers and tasked a presidential council to lead the country, including conducting negotiations to bring an end to the conflict with Houthi rebels.

An announcement early Thursday published by the state-run SABA news agency said Rashad Al-Alimi, a Hadi adviser and former interior minister, will lead the council, which includes seven other members.

Hadi also transferred the powers of the vice president to the council and established a 50-member body to advise the council on peace efforts.

Houthis seized Yemen’s capital in 2014, sending Hadi into exile in Saudi Arabia. In early 2015, Saudi Arabia launched a military coalition backing Hadi.

The U.N. envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said Wednesday that while a two-month truce between the warring sides announced last week has led to “significant reduction of violence,” there were reports of “hostile military activities” in central Yemen and he urged the parties to uphold the cease-fire.

The conflict has killed more than 150,000 people and left Yemen with one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.