Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour and his government have been urged by envoys of some of the 18 countries sponsoring political process in the war-ravaged country to give a second thought on the latest UN peace plan as their rivals agreed to discuss the plan.
“There is pressure on President Hadi from some countries to accept the plan. But the president and his government did not bow down and insisted the plan is a reward to the putschists.” an aide to Hadi told Gulf News from Riyadh on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief reporters.
UN envoy to Yemen, Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad, last week presented a fresh peace plan calling the internationally recognised president Hadi to remain a figurehead leader after passing his authorities to a new vice president. In return, Al Houthis, who overthrew Hadi in early 2015, would withdraw from cities under their control, hand over arms to a third party and pull out their forces from the border area with Saudi Arabia. Hadi’s government swiftly rejected the plan and even refused to take its written terms from the UN envoy.
The peace plan is “a basis for discussion … but contains fundamental flaws in general, in the details and the time frame,” the rebels said in a statement.
They said the plan did not include a “total, permanent ceasefire” or foresee lifting the blockade against areas they control, adding that they would put their objections to the UN envoy when he visits Sana’a in the coming days.
Hadi rejected the peace proposal on Saturday, saying it “only opens a door towards more suffering and war and is not a map for peace”.
The contents of the road map, which the envoy presented to the rebels on Tuesday, have not been made public.
But informed sources say it calls for agreement on naming a new vice-president after the rebels withdraw from Sana’a and other cities and hand over heavy weapons to a third party.
Hadi would then transfer power to the vice-president who would appoint a new prime minister to form a government in which the north and south of Yemen would have equal representation.
Hadi said the new plan was an “explicit departure” from the UN Security Council’s resolution 2216, which calls on rebels to withdraw from territory they have captured since 2014.
Abdul Rahman Al Rashed, a veteran Saudi writer, indirectly criticised the Yemeni government for quickly rejecting the UN plan that contain many “positive” ideas. Al Rashed said the plan preserves the governing system and ends Al Houthis coup by asking them to leave cities and hand over arms.
“In my opinion, the proposed plan is the most viable plan on the table at the moment despite its flaws and is better that continuation of fighting between brothers.” he said in his column at the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat daily.
At the same time, government forces clashed with Al Houthis forces on many fronts amid heavy air raids from the Saudi-led coalition warplanes. Local army commanders loyal to Hadi in the city of Taiz said on Sunday that their forces liberated a mountain despite Al Houthis heavy shelling on the densely populated city. Other clashes occurred in Al Houthis heartland, Saada, Shabwa’s Bayhan and Marib’s Serwah.