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Houthis reject UN peace deal hours after government accept

Houthi rebels rejected the UN-proposed deal on Sunday [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 July, 2016

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Houthi delegation has rejected a UN-proposed peace deal hours after the Yemeni government announced they would sign the agreement.

Yemen's Houthi rebels rejected a UN-proposed peace plan on Sunday to end the ongoing war in Yemen.

The proposed deal had already been accepted by the Yemeni government delegation.

Houthi delegates said that any agreement must first tackle a unity administration, while the proposed deal offered the rebels little in return for peace.

"What was presented by the (UN) envoy was no more than just ideas for a solution to the security aspect, subject to debate like other proposals," a statement from the rebel delegation in Kuwait said.

The draft settlement was "no more than [a] media stunt" aimed at foiling talks, the statement said, according to the rebel rebel-run news agency.

The rebels have insisted that a peace deal must first forge an accord on a new consensual executive authority, including a new president and government.

There is also an explicit demand for the removal of the internationally-recognised president, Abded Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was sworn in after winning a one-candidate election following the 2011 protests in Yemen.

However, the rebel delegation maintained willingness to continue talks, welcoming the UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed's proposal to extend the talks for another week. 

Earlier on Sunday, the Yemeni government accepted the UN-brokered peace deal that aims at resolving an ongoing conflict in the country and gave the rebels an 7 August deadline to respond.

The unsuspected announcement came after an alleged high-level meeting in Riyadh that was chaired by Hadi and calls for the Houthis to respond to the offer by 7 August.

"The meeting approved the draft agreement presented by the United Nations calling for an end to the armed conflict and the withdrawal (of rebels) from Sanaa... and the cities of Taez and al-Hudaydah," a statement said, according to the Saba news agency.

The signed deal abolishes a controversial council formed by the Houthis and former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh's political party, and stipulates all decisions made by the rebels since the September 2014 takeover of Sanaa must be scrapped, Mikhlafi said.

It also suggests the freeing of all prisoners of war - as specified by the UN Security Council resolution 2216 - the agreement said.

A source close to the Yemeni government told The New Arab that a fresh round of political dialogue would begin between different factions 45 days after rebels withdraw from Sanaa, Taiz and al-Hudaydah in currently occupies.

The move includes the formation of a military commission as decreed by Hadi which will oversee the withdrawals and retrieve weapons surrendered by the rebels, the source said.

More than 6,400 people have been killed in the Arabian Peninsula state since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March last year in support of Hadi's government.

Another 2.8 million people have been displaced and more than 80 percent of the population urgently needs humanitarian aid, according to UN figures.



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