Politics, World, Middle East

Houthis: Solution to Yemen crisis must be by consensus

Any resolution of ongoing conflict in Yemen must be based on ‘national consensus’, spokesman for Shia group says

14.07.2016
Houthis: Solution to Yemen crisis must be by consensus

Ma rib

By Ali Owaida

MARIB, Yemen

Any solution to the ongoing conflict in Yemen must be resolved by "national consensus", a Houthi spokesman said Thursday.

"A solution in Yemen must be based on genuine national consensus with a view to halting all forms of aggression, lifting the siege [of Houthi-held areas by pro-government forces], and a removal of economic restrictions," Mohamed Abdel-Salaam said via Twitter.

"Any other proposed solution is unrealistic and unacceptable," he added.

His assertions came one day after a visit by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to Sanaa, Yemen’s Houthi-held capital, and one day before the resumption of UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait between the Houthis and their allies and the Yemeni government.

Yemen has been rocked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

In March of last year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign in Yemen aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.

Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, pro-Hadi forces have since managed to reclaim large swathes of the country’s south -- including provisional capital Aden -- but have failed to retake Sanaa and other strategic areas.

In April of this year, the Yemeni government and the Houthis entered into UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait aimed at resolving the conflict, in which more than 6,400 people have been killed and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.

The negotiations, which were suspended last month, have largely failed to produce any serious breakthroughs.

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