Slain former president Saleh's sons released by Yemen rebels

Slain former president Saleh's sons released by Yemen rebels
2 min read
03 October, 2018
The two sons of former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been released from detention by Houthi rebels.
Saleh's family will be given refuge in Oman [Getty]

Yemen's Houthi rebels said they had released two of slain ex-president Ali Abdallah Saleh's sons, 10 months after they were captured following their father's murder.

Salah and Medyen Saleh were pardoned by Mehdi Mushat, head of the rebels' supreme political council, and subsequently released, the rebel-run Saba news agency said, providing no further details.

Multiple political sources close to the late president said neighbouring Oman - which has remained neutral in the Yemen war, and given refuge to other members of Saleh's family - played a major role in brokering their release.

It came on condition that the two men withdraw from Yemeni politics, a common demand of Oman for political refugees.

Ali Abdullah Saleh's party, the General People's Congress, has broken into several factions during the war and lost much of its former power.

The party - which ruled Yemen from its formation by Saleh in 1982 - continues to be a useful ally for Yemeni politicians seeking broader appeal.

Salah and Medyen Saleh are expected to fly out of Sanaa international airport for Jordan on a chartered UN flight on Wednesday, a source at the airport told AFP.

Sanaa's airport has been shut down for years and is run by the Houthis, who also control the capital. Saudi Arabia and its allies in a pro-government coalition control Yemen's airspace.

The Houthis overran the capital Sanaa in 2014, forcing the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee south.

Saleh was an ally of the Houthi rebels for three years until the two sides fell out with clashes between supporters breaking out in the capital.

He was accused by the Houthis of seeking a treaty with Saudi Arabia, leading to his murder in December 2017.

The Houthis are believed to still be holding relatives of Ali Abdallah Saleh, including one of his nephews.

Oman granted refuge for a number of Saleh's family following the former president's murder.