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Ousted Yemeni president sacks premier over ‘failures’

4 April 2016 13:25



Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has dismissed his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah due to the “failures” of his self-proclaimed government. 

In a Sunday statement, Hadi said the decision to fire Bahah was made “due to the failures that have accompanied the performance of the government during the past period in the fields of economy, services, and security.”

Bahah’s government has “failed to ease the suffering of our people, resolve their problems and provide their needs,” Hadi added.

This is while some Yemeni sources say a behind-the-scenes power struggle has been the real reason behind Bahah’s dismissal.

The head of Yemen’s deposed government, which still proclaims itself the rightful authority and is based in the southern city of Aden, has appointed Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr as the new prime minister, and General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as the new vice-president.

Bahah, who held both posts before his removal from office, has now been named an adviser to Hadi.

A source close to the former government said the shake-up could undermine UN-brokered peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties, scheduled to start in Kuwait on April 18.

“Bahah was in favor of a political settlement and the appointment of Ali Mohsen is a victory for the hard-line wing,” the official, requesting anonymity, told Reuters.

Yemeni children stand outside houses destroyed in a Saudi airstrike on the capital, Sana’a, March 12, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

In early 2015, Hadi resigned from his post as the president of Yemen and later fled to Aden and then to Saudi Arabia. However, he rescinded his resignation one month after submitting it.

He fled to Saudi Arabia along with most of his officials and declared Aden as their new capital. However, they spend most of their time in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Houthi Ansarullah movement took over state matters after the resignation and escape of Hadi, which had thrown the country into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in Yemen, where an al-Qaeda affiliate has presence.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a ferocious war on Houthi fighters and its allied Yemeni forces since late March 2015 in a bid to return Hadi to power, but it has failed to do so. Nearly 9,400 Yemenis, including 4,000 women and children, have lost their lives in the war.

Yemenis, in return, have been carrying out retaliatory attacks on the Saudi forces deployed in the country as well as targets inside Saudi Arabia.

Early on Monday, Yemeni forces fired a Qaher 1 ballistic missile at the Saudi-held al-Naser military base in Yemen’s province of Ma’rib, killing and inuring a yet unknown number of Saudi mercenaries.

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