Houthis reach deal with president following clashes

Houthis reach deal with president following clashes

HomeMiddle EastMore Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:54PM

Houthi fighters and Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi have come to agreement following days of violence in the capital Sana’a.

The deal came following a Wednesday meeting between Hadi and Houthi representative Saleh al-Samad in the presidential palace, over which the fighters gained full control earlier.

The nine-point deal stipulates the withdrawal of the armed Ansarullah fighters from the compound and calls for the release of Yemeni Presidential Chief of Staff Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, in the Houthis’ custody since Saturday.

In return, a draft constitution dividing Yemen into six federal regions will be “possible to amend” so as to expand Houthi representation in the government and the parliament.

“The draft constitution should be agreed upon by all factions,” according to the deal, and Yemen “will be a federal state in accordance with the outcome of the national dialogue.”

“Ansarullah and peaceful Southern Movement and all other political factions deprived of equal representation in state institutions will have the right to be appointed in these institutions,” the deal said.

The fighters made their way into the palace on Tuesday afternoon.

Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

The movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity, after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.

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