Yemen’s Presidential Council appoints new prime minister

Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak takes on role previously held by Maeen Saeed

Maeen Saeed served as Yemen's prime minister since 2018 and is to now take on the role of adviser to the Presidential Council. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Yemen’s internationally recognised Presidential Council has replaced the country's prime minister, a move that comes as the US and UK launch air strikes on sites held by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

A decree issued by the council on Monday appointed Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as Prime Minister, replacing Maeen Saeed, who had held the role since 2018.

The council did not give a reason for the move but said later that Mr Saeed would work as an adviser to the chairman of the council.

Mr bin Mubarak, who is close to Saudi Arabia, came to prominence in 2015 when he was kidnapped by the Houthis while serving as Yemen's presidential chief of staff. The country has been embroiled in a civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed rebels overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened months later at the request of the internationally recognised government.

The conflict has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

In recent months, the Houthis engaged in negotiations in Saudi Arabia, achieving positive results to revive an expired ceasefire. The talks have been part of broader efforts to find a political settlement to the conflict.

But peace efforts have been affected by Israel's war on Gaza, which broke out in October. The Houthis have attacked shipping routes in the Red Sea as part of what the group says is their response to Israel’s campaign in the Palestinian enclave.

The Houthi attacks have prompted the US and UK to launch strikes on rebel-held areas in Yemen.

Updated: February 06, 2024, 10:16 AM