Who are the 8 members of Yemen's new Presidential Council?

Yemen’s Abdrabu Mansur Hadi had handed all executive powers to a newly formed Presidential Council

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After intense negotiations in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where Yemeni-Yemeni talks have just wrapped up, a major announcement broke in the early hours of Thursday.

Yemen’s President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi had handed all executive powers to a newly formed Presidential Council after removing his vice president from office.

The eight-member council includes powerful figures in the military and political scenes – some with boots on the ground in the ongoing civil war.

Members of Yemen's civil society, political parties, civilians and the international community have welcomed the show of unity represented within the council.

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The announcement by Mr Hadi said Gen Rashad Al Alimi would head the presidential council. Gen Al Alimi has been up and down the ranks of Yemen’s government since the 1990s, serving as Yemen's former interior minister and deputy prime minister for security and defence.

He was born in Taez, in 1954 and received his first years of education by his father, a judge. Since then, he was educated in Sanaa, Kuwait and Egypt before returning to Yemen where he enrolled into the police academy of Sanaa.

In 2001, Gen Al Alimi became Minister of Interior and went on to become a member of the dominant General People's Congress in 2013 before taking on the role of presidential advisor to Mr Hadi a year later.

Other members of the council include Sultan Al Aradah, who has been governor of Marib since 2012.

He comes from one of the governorate's main tribes — and has been considered an effective leader in resolving tribal disputes. Born in 1958, Mr Al Aradah has been involved in politics since the late 70s, local media has reported.

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He is also known for his strong anti-Houthi sentiments and has positive relations with Yemen's neighbouring countries and members of the Saudi-led coalition. He also became a member of the General People's Congress in 1982 and a member of parliament later on.

More is known about Brig Aidrous Al Zubaidi than some of Presidential Council's other members owing to his prominence on the battlefield.

Born in 1967 in Dale' province, Brig Al Zubaidi graduated from Aden's aviation academy and went on to join the air force.

When former president Ali Abdullah Saleh announced a battle into the country's south, Brig Al Zubaidi fought in the civil war which ended with Saleh's forces entering Aden.

Upon his defeat, Brig Al Zubaidi was self-exiled to Djibouti and returned to the country two years after the 1994 war ended.

Since then he has been fighting for the independence of Yemen's south and leads the Southern Transitional Council, which was formed in 2017. He served as governor of Aden from 2015 to 2017 by presidential appointment and dismissal.

Ali Abdullah Saleh's nephew, Maj Gen Tariq Saleh, is also a member on the Presidential Council. He formed a non-state armed group called the National Resistance Forces, also known as the Guards of the Republic, in 2017. A military man, Maj Gen Saleh's involvement in battle included engagements in Hodeidah and Taez.

Another military figure is commander of the Giants Brigades, Abdurahman Al Muharrami Abu Zaraa who helped liberate hundreds of kilometres of Yemen's south from Houthi control. The Giants Brigades are a part of the wider National Resistance Forces, led by Maj Gen Saleh and have worked closely with the UAE's armed forces in the past.

The brigades were created in 2015, and are made up of more than 15,000 men including members of the former army of Yemen.

Abdullah Al Alimi Bawazeer is a government official and head of president Hadi's office.

Othman Mujali is another Yemeni politician and parliamentarian. Born in 1970, Mr Mujali is also a member of the General People's Congress. His biggest role in government was minister of state for parliamentary affairs and the Shura Council. He holds a bachelor's degree in Sharia.

Gen Faraj Salmain Al Bahsani is a military commander and has been the governor of Hadramawt province since 2017.

Updated: April 08, 2022, 4:11 AM
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