Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Yemen's Saleh says 'citizens have revolted against Houthi aggression'

Yemen's Saleh says 'citizens have revolted against Houthi aggression' Yemen's Saleh says 'citizens have revolted against Houthi aggression'
Isabel Fisher | 03 December, 2017, 01:38

Saleh stepped down after 33 years in office in 2012, following months of Arab Spring protests against his rule, but remained leader of the General People's Congress Party (GPC), the country's largest political party.

Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels, as his alliance with the Houthi insurgents appeared to be crumbling. The reaction is another sign of a developing riftamong rebel groups in the Yemen civil war.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", the Saleh said in a televised speech on Saturday. Violent clashes between rival factions in Yemen's rebel-held capital signal the disintegration of the rebel alliance at war with a Saudi-led coalition for almost three years.

The two groups have been fighting the government of current President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, for almost three years.

A coalition statement said the decision to "take the lead and to side with their people will free Yemen of. militias loyal to Iran".

That government's President, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, has been living in Saudi Arabia since the rebels took over the presidential palace early that year.


Saleh went on to denounce the Houthi militia, which he accuses of being responsible for the humanitarian disaster inside the country, and he insisted that the Yemeni people are standing up for themselves to get rid of them.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen's embattled government.

He added that some speculators claim that Saleh's statements are actually a proposition by Saudi Arabia to roll down the hostilities in a manner which would save face.

Rajah Badie, spokesman for the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile in Riyadh, told Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV that his forces "call on all Yemenis to support the uprising (being led by Saleh)", and that the uprising "spells the end of Iranian meddling in the country".

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the rebels, called on Saleh to "show more wisdom and maturity" in a separate statement.

"It needs to be fully wound down if we are to avoid an atrocious humanitarian tragedy involving the loss of millions of lives, the like of which the world has not seen for many decades", UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said Friday addressing reporters in Geneva.

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