Yemen to integrate Houthis into the security forces

Yemen to integrate Houthis into the security forces
Sanaa is reportedly planning to fold the Houthi armed militia, which seized control of the capital in September, into the national army.
2 min read
24 November, 2014
Houthis still control parts of Sanaa [Anadolu]
Fighters from the Ansar Allah group - the armed branch of the Shia Houthi movement - are to be integrated into the national security forces, according to Yemen's defence minister.

The armed militia took control of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, on 21 September - but will be brought into the fold of the country's armed services, under a plan announced in Mahmoud al-Subaihi, said Saba news, Yemen's official news agency. 

A government delegation reportedly paid an unannounced visit to the Saada governorate to discuss integration plans with Ansar Allah leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi.

"Ansar Allah leaders understand the significance and implications of strengthening the state and enhancing the status of its armed forces," said Subaihi.

"They also understand that any popular support and cooperation to achieve security and stability should be based on an informed plan that includes
     Ansar Allah leaders understand the significance of strengthening the state.
- Defence Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi
every segment of society."

Radaa attacks

Unconfirmed reports suggested that several members of the Ansar Allah group were killed in an attack in the central Yemeni city of Radaa on 23 November, soon after the proposal was announced.

Houthis in Radaa are facing near-daily attacks after seizing control of the city in clashes with tribal fighters and al-Qaeda militants. H
outhis still control parts of Sanaa and are in full control of governorates north of Sanaa.

Show of loyalty

Recruits at the Special Security Forces camp in Sanaa were meanwhile protesting over the weekend to demand the return of their commander.

Major General Mohammad al-Ghadra left the SSF headquarters on Thursday 20 November after a reported mutiny against him.

SSF is the interior ministry's largest security force. Its hedquarters are located very close to the office of the president.

On Sunday, Yemeni President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi met Interior Minister Jalal al-Rowaishan, SSF commander Mohammad al-Ghadra and others to investigate last week's events.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.