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Yemen’s Hadi threatens to withdraw from peace talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Yemen's resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi (AFP photo)

Yemen’s resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has warned that he would pull out of the ongoing peace negotiations on the future of the country if the United Nations keeps insisting on a roadmap for the formation of a unity government.

“The UN has tried to convince us to form a coalition government. We said we would issue a statement declaring our boycott of the Kuwait consultations,” Hadi said Sunday while visiting a group of militants loyal to him in the city of Ma’rib, east of the capital Sana’a.

The resigned leader, who fled Sana’a two years ago when the Houthi Ansarullah movement rose to power, said he would not accept the roadmap proposed by UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

"We will not return to the talks in Kuwait if the United Nations tries to impose the latest proposal by mediator, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed," Hadi said, claiming that his forces will recapture Sana’a from Houthis “soon.”

Talks between Hadi representatives and delegates representing Houthis and allies began in the Kuwait City on April 21. The two sides have managed to agree on some proposals, including how to continue with the exchange of their prisoners, but some stumbling blocks remain, marring efforts for a permanent solution to the conflict.  

Hadi had earlier said that he will not tolerate Houthis as part of any future government, reiterating that the Ansarullah fighters must withdraw from the cities they control and surrender their arms. The Houthis say they will begin to withdraw if someone other than Hadi takes on as president to manage the transition in Yemen.

More than 14 months of conflict in Yemen have killed around 10,000 people while hundreds remain displaced across the country. Most of the casualties have been caused by Saudi Arabia’s relentless air campaign against Yemen, which started in March 2015 in support of Hadi. 

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