Under plan floated by UN envoy Ismail Ould Chaikh Ahmad, Hadi would become a figurehead and turn over his powers to the vice-president
Al Mukalla: The Yemeni government has demanded a new peace plan for ending the conflict in the country after rejecting the latest proposal that suggests the internationally-recognised president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, turn over his powers to a new vice-president and assume a figurehead role.
Foreign minister Abdul Malik Al Mekhlafi, on Sunday, shrugged off media reports that Hadi’s government asked the United Nations (UN) envoy to revamp some terms of the plan.
“Any settlement that reinforces the coup or reward the putschist militias will not be successful,” Al Mekhlafi said in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency.
He was referencing when Iran-backed Al Houthi militants grabbed power in late 2014, placing Hadi under house arrest, in the capital, Sana’a.
Hadi later managed to escape and moved the government’s base to Aden, in the country’s south.
The new peace plan floated by UN envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad has been met by stiff resistance by Yemenis across the country who have gone out to protest their demand to keep Hadi in power.
The government has also resisted massive diplomatic pressure from many envoys of the 18 countries sponsoring the faltering peace process.
The government said discussing moving Hadi out of power was “out of the question” until Al Houthis respect previous peace agreements and a new president is elected afterward.
Taha Nasser, media aide to president Hadi, warned that stripping Hadi of his legitimacy would enable the militias who overthrew him by force to be in power.
“President Hadi’s legitimacy is a safe umbrella for all Yemenis, including those who turned against him and any radical, deep or just settlement must be conducted under this umbrella.” he said on his official Twitter feed.
Defending his plan, the UN envoy, who is discussing the plan with the rebel forces in Sana’a, said: “The peace road map contains a set of sequenced security and political steps, which would help Yemen return to a peaceful and orderly transition.”
Meanwhile, local media reports said on Sunday that a senior army commander loyal to Hadi was killed in fierce clashes with Al Houthis and their allied military forces in northern Yemen.
Brigadier Saleh Al Khayati, the commander of Brigade 82, was killed in battles with Al Houthis on Medi front, Hajjah province, according to Aden Al Ghad, an independent news site.
Government forces drove into the province of Hajjah from the Saudi side of the border months ago in an attempt to purge rebel forces from the strategic province.
Outside the capital, the official news agency said on Saturday that at least a dozen Al Houthis were killed in the rugged Nehim district. The agency said the government forces liberated a village and hilly location in Nehim under heavy air support from the Saudi-led coalition. Other government forces battled on Sunday Al Houthis in Al Salo region in the southern city of Taiz.