Shiite rebels, Yemen’s embattled president reach agreement to end violent standoff in capital

Shiite rebels holding Yemen’s president captive in his home reached a deal with the U.S.-backed leader Wednesday to end a violent standoff in the capital, the country’s state news agency reported.

SANAA, Yemen — Shiite rebels holding Yemen’s president captive in his home reached a deal with the U.S.-backed leader Wednesday to end a violent standoff in the capital, the country’s state news agency reported.

The agreement promised to give the rebel Houthi movement more say in the affairs of the Arab world’s poorest country in exchange for the group removing its fighters from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s home, the SABA news agency said.

However, the late-night deal left unanswered who really controls the country and how much power is still held by Hadi, a key ally in U.S. efforts to battle Yemen’s local al-Qaida branch.

In the deal, the Houthis also agreed to release a top aide to Hadi that they had kidnapped in recent days.

SABA said the agreement included a clause that would answer the rebels’ demands to amend the constitution and expand their representation in the parliament and in state institutions. It also included promises to ensure better representation for Yemen’s southerners as well, the deal said.

The agreement also calls on Hadi to shake up a commission tasked with writing a draft constitution to ensure bigger representation for the Houthis.

The draft constitution has proposed a federation of six regions, something the Houthis reject. The agreement reached Wednesday night also ensures that Yemen would be a federal state, but doesn’t mention the six region proposal, saying controversial issues will be further discussed.

The agreement, while addressing the immediate Houthi takeover and security concerns in the capital, leaves the contentious political issues unresolved.

The Houthis, who took control of the capital in September, say they only want an equal share of power, while critics say that they prefer presence of Hadi as a symbolic leader while they keep a grip on power. Critics also say the Houthis are backed by Shiite power Iran, something they deny.

The increasingly weakened leadership and power vacuum are setting stage for al-Qaida in Yemen, which claimed the recent attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and failed assaults on the U.S. homeland, to grow more powerful in the chaos.

Aides to Hadi said earlier Wednesday that he was “captive” in his home. Soon after the agreement Wednesday night, there was no visible change in Houthi deployment outside Hadi’s house.

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta’s declining COVID-19 numbers are a positive sign for the province. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 634 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone down to 2,054 active cases

Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Rylan Thiessen (26) guards the front of the net as goalie Connor Unger makes a save on Winnipeg Ice forward Skyler Bruce during a Western Hockey League game on April 14 at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Brandon won 5-3. (Keith Hershmiller Photography)
Two big trades provide stability for Red Deer Rebels

All Connor Ungar wanted was an opportunity and he’s finally found it.… Continue reading

(Screenshot).
Seven central Alberta charities benefit from community foundation grants

Seven central Alberta charities have received grants from the Red Deer and… Continue reading

Red Deer Gun Show organizer, Harold Drok, is concerned $1 fee from each ticket sale will go to Westerner Park once shows can be restarted there. This new policy replaces parking fees which will be waived for future Westerner Park events. (Black Press file photo)
Event organizer concerned about Westerner Park’s new parking fee model

A show organizer is concerned this could impact proceeds

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Organizers of central Alberta anti-lockdown rodeo plead not guilty

Ty and Gail Northcott charged under the Public Health Act

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

An excavator works in the background as police establish a checkpoint on McClure Main in the Caycuse area on B.C.'s Vancouver Island, Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Police arrest five protesters for refusing to leave anti-logging blockades in B.C.

Police arrest five protesters for refusing to leave anti-logging blockades in B.C.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

Canadian Academy and other organizations champion Cancon through various campaigns

Canadian Academy and other organizations champion Cancon through various campaigns

FILE - Actor/comedian Charles Grodin, appears at a news conference announcing him as host of CNBC's new primetime show "Charles Grodin" in New York on Nov. 15, 1994. Grodin, the offbeat actor and writer who scored as a newlywed cad in “The Heartbreak Kid” and the father in the “Beethoven” comedies, died Tuesday at his home in Wilton, Conn. from bone marrow cancer. He was 86. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Charles Grodin, ‘Midnight Run,’ ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ star, dies

Charles Grodin, ‘Midnight Run,’ ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ star, dies

Sarah Polley, Jayne Eastwood among winners on night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

Sarah Polley, Jayne Eastwood among winners on night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

This image shows an assortment of gift options for dinner hosts, from left, Clark and Hopkins hot sauces, a Finamill spice grinder, sculptural candles from Greentree Home Candles, a Mosser Cake Stand topped with folded linen runners and a loaf of bread from Zingerman's, and a variety of Frank Lloyd Wright candles from the Art Institute of Chicago. (Cheyenne Cohen via AP)
Gathering again? Gifts to wow and thank your host

Gathering again? Gifts to wow and thank your host

FILE - This microscope image made available by the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research in 2015 shows human colon cancer cells with the nuclei stained red. Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer earlier, at age 45 instead of waiting until they're 50, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, released on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (NCI Center for Cancer Research via AP, File)
Americans urged to get colon cancer screening earlier

Americans urged to get colon cancer screening earlier

Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin appears before Judge Mark E. Windham who denied an emergency motion by the defense team seeking to postpone the trial today. during the murder trial of Robert Durst Monday, May 17, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. The murder trial of the multimillionaire has resumed in Los Angeles County after a 14-month recess without the defendant present and with arguments about whether the case should continue at all. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)
Prosecutor says Durst’s own words show his guilt in killings

Prosecutor says Durst’s own words show his guilt in killings

Most Read