Houthi supporters rally against UN peace roadmap in Sanaa

Houthi supporters rally against UN peace roadmap in Sanaa
Supporters of Yemen's Houthi rebels held a protest against the UN road map to peace on Saturday, after warring factions rejected the proposal aimed at resolving the two-year conflict.
2 min read
05 November, 2016
Supporters of the Houthis frequently gather in the rebel-held capital [Getty]

Hundreds of supporters of Yemen's Houthi rebels gathered in the capital Sanaa on Saturday to protest against a UN peace plan aimed at ending a devastating war between the insurgents and loyalist forces.

Protesters surrounded the hotel hosting UN envoy to Yemen Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Saturday and shouted "get out!"

They brandished photos of the victims of a war that has escalated since the Saudi-led military intervention in March 2015 leading to 10,000 deaths.

Road to peace

Ould Cheikh, who arrived in the insurgent-held capital on Thursday for his second visit in a week, proposed a peace plan last month that was designed to halt fighting between the Houthis and forces loyal to internationally-backed President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Mauritanian diplomat has led talks in Yemen since April 2015 and brokered several ceasefires that were often violated and failed to generate momentum towards a peace deal.

Hadi last week rejected the UN proposal, while the rebels said it was "basis for discussion" despite containing "fundamental flaws".

Hadi last week rejected the UN proposal, while the rebels said it was 'basis for discussion' despite containing 'fundamental flaws'.

On Friday, rebel ally and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh said the plan was a "good basis" for talks to end "military operations carried out by Saudi Arabia".

However, the contents of the UN roadmap have not been made public.

Bitter war

Sources suggest it calls for an agreement on naming a new vice president after the rebels withdraw from Sanaa and other cities and hand over heavy weapons to a third party.

This is a request consistently made by the government since negotiations began.

Hadi would then transfer power to the vice president who would appoint a new prime minister to form a government in which the north and south of Yemen would have equal representation.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the war - over half civilians - while another three million were forced into displacement.

It is estimated 80 percent of Yemenis need humanitarian assistance, and more than 2 million are suffering from malnutrition.