Yemen Al Houthi rebels slam federation plan as unfair
Al Houthis reject the plan ‘because it divides Yemen into poor and wealthy regions’
Published: February 11, 2014 15:29AFP
Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration marking the 3rd anniversary of the uprising that toppled Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Tuesday.
Image Credit: Reuters
Sana’a: Northern rebels on Tuesday rejected a six-region federation plan for Yemen saying that the proposed division of the republic does not distribute wealth evenly.
A panel headed by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and including representatives of Yemen’s main parties, agreed the plan on Monday, as part of a “national dialogue” and the country’s political transition.
The plan will be inserted into the text of a new constitution to be voted on within a year.
“We have rejected it because it divides Yemen into poor and wealthy” regions, said Mohammad Al Bakhiti of the Al Houthi rebel group Ansarullah.
The six regions agreed in the federation plan include four in the north comprising Azal, Saba, Janad and Tahama, and two in the formerly independent south, Aden and Hadramawt.
Under the plan the northern province of Saada, bastion of Ansarullah rebels, is part of the Azal region-a zone that also includes Sana’a, Amran and Dhamar with no significant natural resources or access to sea.
“Saada has stronger cultural, social and geographical links with [coastal] Hajja, and Jawf,” along the Saudi borders, Bakhiti said.
Yemen’s parties had been divided on whether to split the future federation into two or six regions.
Sana’a feared that a straight north-south divide could set the stage for the disgruntled south to secede.
Yemen’s national dialogue was stipulated by a Gulf-brokered and UN-backed roadmap that ended a year of protests against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 after 33 years in power.
Kidnapped Yemeni model to undergo forced virginity test
Entesar Al Hammadi was abducted on February 20 by Houthi militants in Sana
The 19-year-old Entesar Al Hammadi was born to a Yemeni father and an Ethiopian mother was held by the militants alongside two of her friends.
Image Credit: Supplied
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Dubai: The Yemeni model Entesar Al Hammadi who was kidnapped on February 20 this year by Houthi militants in Sana is likely to undergo a forced virginity test by the group, Arabic media reported.
The 19-year-old Yemeni model who was born to a Yemeni father and an Ethiopian mother was held by the militants alongside two of her friends.
Dozens of activists, politicians and journalists slammed their abduction and called for immediate release to the model and her colleagues.
According to media reports, Al Hammadi was forced to confess of possessing drugs and performing prostitution; now she is threatened to undergo a forced virginity test.
The case of the Yemeni model detained by the Houthis has gone viral. Amnesty International called not to force Entesar Al Hammadi, 19, who has been detained for about two months, to undergo a forced virginity test. It called for her immediate release.
Beside her arrest, Houthis have banned any media coverage in her case as her lawyer has been stopped from speaking to international news outlets while the Yemeni model was thrown in a solo confinement.
According to the Yemeni media, Al Hammadi’s lawyer, Khaled Al Kamal, is being threatened by the militants and pressured to leave his client’s case.
Human rights activists have signed an online petition to pressure the Iran-backed Houthis to free the abducted Al Hammadi, apologize to her and ban the virginity test.
Arab alliance destroys Al Houthi UAVs, missiles targeting Saudi Arabia
Surge in Yemeni rebels’ attacks despite peace efforts
A missile fired by Al Houthi militia in Yemen.
Image Credit: Youtube screengrab
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Cairo: The Arab Saudi-led alliance said it intercepted and destroyed early Thursday eight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and three ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s All Houthis towards Saudi Arabia amid an upsurge of the Iran-aligned rebels’ attacks.
The latest attack attempt was made on the first day of Eid Al Fitr.
“Al Houthi militia’s hostile acts did not observe religious rituals and violated international standards,” the coalition said, condemning “hostile attempts” targeting people and civilian facilities.
On Monday, the alliance said it had foiled an imminent Houthi attack by an explosives-rigged boat in the Red Sea and accused the rebels of jeopardising international navigation.
In recent months, Al Houthis have stepped up their cross-border attacks against the Saudi territory despite peace efforts to end a war of more than six years in Yemen.
In March, Saudi Arabia launched a peace initiative for Yemen, proposing a UN-overseen nationwide ceasefire in the country, the reopening of Sana’a airport in the Al Houthi-held capital, and restarting negotiations between the Saudi-backed government and the rebels. The Yemeni government welcomed the initiative, while Al Houthis rejected it. Al Houthis plunged Yemen into a devastating war in late 2014 when they unseated the internationally recognised government and seized parts of the country, including Sana’a.
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