Under Saudi supervision, Mansour Hadi transferred the power to a presidential council in Yemen.
The chairman of Yemeni presidential council stated that the country’s civil war will come to an end after seven years. In his first statement after the Saudi-backed president handed authority to the council, Rashad al-Alimi stated that he will achieve the goal through a peace settlement.
From Riyadh, Former President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi transferred sovereignty to the council and fired his deputies. It happens as Riyadh strengthens an anti-Houthi movement coalition in the midst of United Nations efforts to restart peace talks.
Al-Alimi has tight relations to both Riyadh and Yemen’s most powerful political group, the Islah party. In his remarks, he stated that the council will seek to address difficulties in all parts of Yemen without prejudice. “The leadership council promises the people to end the war and achieve peace through a comprehensive peace process that guarantees the Yemeni people all its aspirations,” he further added in his remarks yesterday.
Yemen war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, wreaked havoc on the economy, and led Yemen close to starvation. It is commonly assumed that the crisis is the result of a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran. According to the Houthi movement, they are fighting against a corrupt regime as well as foreign invasion.
In the final day of peace talk process in Riyadh, the Yemeni president-in-exile addressed the people in a TV speech. “I irreversibly delegate to this presidential leadership council my full powers,” Mansour Hadi announced in his remarks on Thursday.
Mansour Hadi also removed his Vice President, a senior military politician, from office and transferred his responsibilities to presidential council. The Houthis hate Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar for previous military assaults and massacre in their northern heartland.
After five years of infertile and expensive war in Yemen, Riyadh has been exhaustedly seeking ways to take footsteps away from the ashes of Yemen during the past year. Following Trump’s removal from office at the White House, Biden administration opened criticism on the long-time battle.
Riyadh has asked the UN Security Council to deal with the Houthi movement for a permanent and thorough settlement under UN supervision. Al-Alimi’s remarks elicited no instant response from the Houthi leaders.
Two days ago, Houthi main speaker Mohammed Abdulsalam slammed the establishment of the council, calling it a sham. He described it as a “desperate attempt to restructure the ranks of mercenaries to push them towards further escalation”.
Following Hadi’s speech, Saudi Arabia promised $3 billion in financial help to the a Saudi-backed administration. Ministers from the GCC have declared their sympathy for the council and imminent talks with the Houthi movement. They also backed UN monitoring in order to get a definitive and thorough political settlement.
Before the new developments, Yemen’s two main battle actors agreed on a ceasefire for two months. The decision has raised hopes for reaching a comprehensive solution to the crisis and ending the “futile” seven-year offensive.
After Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 toppled Saleh, who was eventually slain in 2017 while attempting to change sides, Mansour Hadi assumed the leadership of a collapsing state. Hadi was the lone candidate on the ballot in elections aimed at guiding Yemen’s democratic settlements a decade ago. Saudi Arabia, along with western and regional allies, set the stage for Hadi. Analysts believe that new Saudi strategy for Yemen, which received instant support from alliance, is a similar step. Considering the tough condition of erosive war in Yemen, Riyadh seeks ways to politically remove the Houthis from power structure.