Yemen gov’t says peace talks ‘ended’ after rebels form council
ADEN – Agence France-Presse
Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, hold their weapons as they attend a rally in support of the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, July 18, 2016. AP photoYemen’s government said July 28 that peace talks underway since April had ended without agreement after Shiite rebels and their allies formed a 10-member “supreme council” to run the war-torn nation.
“The negotiations have completely ended,” said Abdullah al-Olaimi, deputy director of the Yemeni president’s office and a member of the government team to the U.N.-brokered talks being held in Kuwait.
“We have participated and exercised patience for the sake of our people and we end the negotiations for their sake,” Olaimi said on his Twitter account.
In Riyadh, President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government said the rebels had “fired the bullet of mercy” killing off the talks.
U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the rebels’ move “contravenes” their commitment to the peace process and “represents a grave violation” of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216.
The Shiite Houthi rebels and the General People’s Congress of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier announced the formation of “a supreme political council of 10 members.”
They did not name the council’s members.
“The aim is to unify efforts to confront the aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies,” they said in reference to the Riyadh-led Arab coalition that launched a military campaign against the rebels in March 2015 in support of Hadi.
The job of the council would be to “manage state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security.”
Ould Cheikh Ahmed who has been brokering 100 days of talks aimed at a peaceful settlement condemned the move without formally announcing the collapse of negotiations.
“This is a clear violation of the Yemeni constitution” as well as Resolution 2216, he said in a statement released in Kuwait.
The resolution calls on the Houthis to withdraw from territories they occupied in 2014, to hand over their arms and return state institutions to the legitimate government.