Hundreds of supporters of Yemen’s rebels protested in the capital Sanaa on Saturday against a UN peace roadmap aimed at ending a devastating war between the Houthi insurgents and loyalists.
UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed last month put forward the peace plan aimed at halting fighting between the Houthis and forces loyal to the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The Mauritanian diplomat, who arrived in the insurgent-held capital on Thursday for his second visit in a week, has led talks in Yemen since April 2015 and brokered several ceasefires that were often violated and failed to generate momentum towards a peace deal.
“Get out!” protesters shouted outside the hotel where Ould Cheikh Ahmed is staying, holding up photos of the victims of a war that has escalated since the military intervention of a Saudi-led coalition against the rebels and their allies in March 2015.
Hadi last week rejected the UN proposal, while the rebels said it was “basis for discussion” despite containing “fundamental flaws”.
On Friday, rebel ally and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh said the plan was a “good basis” for talks to end “military operations carried out by Saudi Arabia”.
The contents of the UN roadmap have not been made public.
But informed sources say it calls for agreement on naming a new vice president after the rebels withdraw from Sanaa 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.
Nearly 7,000 people have been killed in the war — more than half of them civilians — while another three million are displaced and millions more need food aid.