Yemen rebel leader to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'

Aaron Brown
December 3, 2017

Saleh on Saturday said he was ready to turn a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which had intervened to place his successor back in power. The coalition had also imposed a blockade on the country, allowing occasional humanitarian access, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognised government of Mr Saleh's successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Yemen's former President Ali Abdallah Saleh spoke on Saturday in a live TV address to slam the Houthi militia amid fierce battles between Saleh loyalists and the Iran-backed militia in the capital Sanaa.

Tension between Saleh and the Houthis has been rising in recent months.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Saturday it was confident that leaders of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's Congress Party (GPC) would return to the Arab fold.

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi said all those who have identified a clear position in support of the popular uprising aimed at ending the coup and the restoration of the state "will all be partners in the present and future of Yemen".

"It is happening in coordination with it", referring to the Saudi-led coalition".

The coalition accuses Saleh, who heads the General People's Congress party, of betraying his Arab neighbors by joining forces with the Houthi rebels. "The priority has been and still is to confront the forces of aggression".

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Residents of Yemen's capital, Sanaa, are used to the sounds of gunfire, but in the last four days they've had to adjust to new faultlines in the conflict.

The fighting subsided by the afternoon as Saleh supporters secured control.

Both sides reported that at least sixteen people have been killed in the fighting since Wednesday. It also called on supporters, including tribal fighters, to "defend themselves, their country, their revolution and their republic".

Yemen's civil war has killed more than ten thousand people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.

But the head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

Meanwhile, Houthi leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, called for dialogue with Saleh and his rebel forces to end the growing violence between the two factions.

Yemen's civil war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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