Yemen rebel allies agree truce following Sanaa clashes

Yemen rebel allies agree truce following Sanaa clashes
Houthi and pro-Saleh Yemeni rebels have agreed to ease tensions following the outbreak of violence between the two factions in the capital Sanaa.
2 min read
29 August, 2017
Yemen rebel alliance has been split between Saleh loyalists and Houthis [AFP]
Rival rebel factions in Yemen have agreed to end fighting, after days of tensions threatened to drag the capital Sanaa into the nationwide fighting. 

Officials from the Houthi rebel movement and loyalists of former President Ali Abudullah al-Saleh said they would "remove all causes of the tensions" in Sanaa, after days of clashes between the two armed groups in the capital.

It comes after the leader of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party Aref al-Zouka and the Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam met on Monday in a bid to end tensions.

A joint statement issued on Tuesday said they would work to "return the security situation to what it was before the activities last week".

Tensions in Sanaa - which is controlled by the rebel alliance - erupted this week after a GPC rally was held in Sanaa, which the Houthis perceived as an attempt by the Saleh faction to dominate the capital.

An alleged attack on Saleh's son led to the death of a Yemeni colonel who was part of the convoy, along with two Houthi fighters. 

It follows rumours that Saleh has been in talks with the UAE in an attempt by Abu Dhabi to woo the former president away from the Houthis.

Last week, Saleh accused Saudi Arabia - which is leading an alliance seeking to reinstate President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi as ruler of the capital - of stoking tensions between the two groups during an anniversary rally in Sanaa.

Yemen has been submerged in violence for two-and-a-half years, when a Saudi led-alliance launched airstrikes on Houthi rebels after they took over the capital and threatened to take over the rest of the country.

Hadi's government fled south to Aden, while Hadi himself went into self-exile in Saudi Arabia.

The brutal war, sieges and bombing have cost over 10,000 lives, while a major outbreak of cholera has swept through the country.

UN officials believe things could get worse, with the risk of a major famine making Yemen one of the world's most pressing humanitarian crises.