Yemen: peace to come with end of Houthis, PM says

Ahmed bin Dagher says his country will make no concessions to the rebel group

Yemen's prime minister Ahmed bin Dagher in Aden. Saleh Al Obeidi / AFP
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The complete defeat of Yemen's Houthi rebels, "politically or militarily", is the only road to peace in the country, Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said.

The Yemeni government will not accept a peace plan proposed by the rebels that would leave them in control of the capital, Mr Bin Dagher told China’s ambassador to Yemen.

The Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014, launching a coup that prompted the Saudi-led Arab military coalition to intervene on behalf of the internationally recognised government.

Mr Bin Dagher and the Chinese ambassador discussed opportunities for Chinese investment in Yemen after the war during their meeting in Riyadh, the Saudi state news agency reported.

He said the government’s main priority was the safety of its people and stemming the bloodshed in the country.


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Meanwhile, President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi on Saturday appointed General Ali Saleh Afash Al Humairi, a half-brother of the late president Ali Abdullah Saleh, to head the Reserve Forces.

The general was the commander of the Republican Guard, as the Reserve Forces was formerly known, before being replaced by Saleh's son. The army reserve has played a crucial role in maintaining order in a country rife with conflict.

Gen Al Humairi also served as director of the armed forces office until the overthrow of Saleh’s regime in 2011.

Government forces backed by the Arab coalition are waging offensives against the rebels on several fronts, including a campaign to liberate the main port of Hodeidah on the western coast. Air strikes by coalition jets on Saturday destroyed a training camp in the area, killing dozens of the Houthi fighters, and destroyed rebel ammunition stores and armoured vehicles.

The rebels are receiving military guidance from an Iranian expert holding European citizenship, particularly in their stronghold of Saada province, according to Yemeni military intelligence.

The Iranian expert had drawn up a plan to restructure the Houthi militias on the ground and rearrange their military positions, an intelligence source told Yemen National Web.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni minister for local administration has called on the international community to pressure on the rebels to lift sieges on areas under their control.

Abdul Raqib Fatah said the Houthis had imposed a siege on Al Shaar in eastern of Ibb province several days ago, forcing civilians to leave their homes and preventing the movement of supplies into neighbouring districts, Yemen's official News Agency reported.