Saudi Arabia 'removed Yemeni President Hadi' and 'placed him under house arrest'
President Hadi handed over power to a new leadership council on 7 April as his government - which was supported by a Saudi-led coalition in its war against Houthi rebels - struck a fragile ceasefire with the Iran-aligned Houthis who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa and most of northern Yemen.
Riyadh welcomed Hadi's resignation and promised $3 billion in support for Yemen, but The Wall Street Journal reported sources as saying that he was forced to resign when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman threatened to make public evidence of his alleged corruption.
"Hadi is effectively under house arrest at his residence in Riyadh without access to phones," a Saudi official told the US financial daily.
“Hadi is effectively under house arrest at his residence in Riyadh without access to phones,” said a Saudi official.— Khalid Aljabri, MD د.خالد الجبري (@JabriMD) April 17, 2022
In 2015, President Hadi asked MBS to help him defeat Houthis. Today, Hadi is MBS’s hostage, Houthis are stronger, and #Yemen is on a countdown to famine. https://t.co/WQbQWNvyzD
Other officials have rejected claims that Riyadh ousted Hadi, saying he stepped down after losing the confidence of his Yemeni allies.
"Saudi Arabia has not orchestrated the removal of Hadi nor threatened to expose alleged corruption," said another Saudi official.
"Its role was limited to conveying the desire of the Yemeni factions who participated together in the Yemeni-Yemeni talks to President Hadi."
The Houthis have rejected the new leadership council claiming it has been created by a foreign power and demanded an end to Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen.
The internationally-recognised Yemeni government and its Saudi allies have been waging war against the Houthis for the past seven years.
The Iran-backed Houthis took control of Sanaa in September 2014, forcing the government to flee south and prompting a Saudi-led Arab coalition to intervene in 2015.
The war has so far killed hundreds of thousands of people and has led to what the UN describes as "one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises".