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Yemen

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Index
  1. Yemen Main Page
  2. New Nation Falls into Civil War
  3. Militants Strike in Yemen
  4. Regional Violence and the Strengthening of al-Qaeda Make Yemen a Volatile State
  5. Cease-Fire Tentatively Ends Six-Year War
  6. Protests Push President Saleh to Announce He Will Not Run for Reelection
  7. American-born al-Qaeda Leader Killed by U.S. Drone
  8. Saleh Cedes Power and Is Given Immunity
  9. Officials Say They Thwarted an al-Qaeda Terrorist Attack
  10. Houthis Take Over Capital; President Hadi Resigns
  11. Yemen-Based Al Qaeda Cell Linked to France Attack
Houthis Take Over Capital; President Hadi Resigns

The Houthis took advantage of the instability in Yemen, and in early July 2014 took control of Amran, a city 45 miles north of the capital, Sana. In August, Houthi leaders demanded that Hadi rescind his decision to end subsidies that helped the poor. The move helped the Houthis to gain wide support, from both Shia and Sunnis, and by early September the Houthis had entered the capital and set up camp there. On Sept. 2, Hadi agreed to form a new government, with the Houthis nominating the prime minister. Hadi also announced a 30% reduction in the price of fuel. The Houthis, however, rejected the concessions as inadequate. Fighting broke out between the rebels and security forces in Sana days later and continued until the Houthis took control of Sana, a stunning accomplishment for the rebels and an equally significant blow for Hadi. The UN brokered a peace deal between the Houthis and the government on September 20. The next day, Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa announced his resignation. As part of the deal the Houthis agreed to withdraw from Sana, and Hadi said he would reinstate the fuel subsidy, establish a "technocratic national government," work to rout out corruption, allow the Houthis to select presidential advisers and have more representation in parliament, and implement the provisions of the National Dialogue Conference. The Houthis, however, refused to sign a "security appendix," which called for the rebels to withdraw from Sana and other cities and surrender their weapons. In October, Khaled Bahah, Yemen's former ambassador to the UN, was named prime minister. The Houthis rejected Hadi's first choice.

The rebels did not withdraw from Sana and instead expanded their control of the capital, diminishing the power of the government. Amid the growing instability, both the Houthis and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gained strength. AQAP considers the Houthis heretics because they adhere to a branch of Shiite Islam, Zaydism. In response to the Houthi's gains throughout Yemen, AQAP began attacking Houthis throughout the country, taking many civilian casualties. The intensifying violence led many to fear a sectarian war. Yemeni officials believe Iran is backing the Houthis, and Saudi Arabia has taken action against the Houthis.

Fighting in Sana between Houthi rebels and government troops intensified in January 2015. The escalation followed the release of a draft constitution that called for Yemen to become a federation of six regions, a concept that emerged from the National Dialogue Conference and one that the Houthis oppose. The Houthis surrounded the presidential palace complex, with Hadi inside, and took his chief of staff hostage. On Jan. 21, the Houthis and the government signed a cease-fire, in which the Houthis agreed to withdraw from the presidential palace and the government said it would abandon the regional plan and give the Houthis more say in the naming of government officials. The Houthis, however, reneged on the deal. On Jan. 22, Hadi, Prime Minister Muhammad Salim Basindwah, and the cabinet all resigned, citing the Houthi's failure to abide by the cease-fire. However, the Houthis said in a statement that parliament must approve Hadi's resignation before it can take effect. The statement hinted at the Houthi's reluctance to assume control over the country since it does not have support of the Sunni majority in the south. Many feared that AQAP would take advantage of the political vaccuum.

Next: Yemen-Based Al Qaeda Cell Linked to France Attack
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