Clock ticking on Yemen peace proposal offer

Written by Staff

Houthis warned failure to accept proposal will bring talks back to square one.

Al Mukalla — Deputy head of Yemen’s government delegation attending talks in Kuwait, Abdul Aziz Jabari, said late Tuesday that if Al Houthis failed to endorse a UN-brokered peace plan by early next week, the talks would go back to “square one”.

The government would have to resort to the military option to end Al Houthis’ grab on power if talks crumbled, he warned in an interview with national TV.

“We would go back to the starting point if they do not accept the UN-brokered proposal by August 7″, Jabari said in an interview with the national.

The delegation of the internationally recognised government has recently returned to the Saudi capital after approving a draft agreement proposed by the UN envoy to Yemen.

Iran-backed Al Houthis and the ousted president delegation is still engaging in talks with the UN envoy and some ambassadors of 18 countries sponsoring the political process in Yemen.

No progress was reportedly achieved.

Jabari said the government accepted the proposal despite the fact that some of its terms favour the rebels.

The government agreed for Al Houthis to take part in the security committee that would handle their disbarment and withdrawal process from cities within 45 days.

“We initially proposed the security committee be formed from army officers who are not involved in the Al Houthi coup,” he said.

Jabari said that his delegation has accepted that rebel forces pull out of three provinces including Sana’a, Taiz and Hodeida despite a UN Security Council resolution obliging them to withdraw from all provinces they control.

“I do not know why they rejected the proposal but I think they want a government like Bahah’s in their pockets,” he said.

One of the bones of contention between the government and Al Houthis is the rebel forces demand on forming a unity government before handing over arms to the state.

The government of president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi refuses to return to Sana’a before disarming Al Houthis.

Jabari said disarmament process would not include the elite republican guards that are said to loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

An official from the government delegation told Gulf News on Wednesday that some members of the delegation might go back to Kuwait before August 7 to attend official signature of the plan if the Al Houthis accepted it.

Meanwhile on the ground, an officer and six soldiers were killed on Wednesday in the city of Al Mukalla, southern Yemen, when their vehicle collided with a lorry.

Local officials said the speeding army vehicle overturned before crashing into a long lorry killing all seven soldiers on board.