Yemen's Saudi-backed government appoints new defence, oil ministers

Yemen's Saudi-backed government appoints new defence, oil ministers
The Aden-based government replaced the oil and defence ministers in a cabinet reshuffle days before a truce between the Saudi-backed government and Houthi forces expires on 2 August.
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Yemen's Saudi backed government is based in Aden[Getty]

Yemen's Saudi-backed authorities replaced the defence and energy ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday in a move political sources said aimed to support the cohesion of a new presidential council and address perceived corruption and mismanagement.

Former President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ceded power to the council in April as Saudi Arabia moved to strengthen an alliance it leads against the Houthi movement, which ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.

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Council head Rashad Al-Alimi issued a statement appointing southerner Lieutenant-General Mohsen al-Daeri as defence minister and Said al-Shamasi as energy minister. He also named new ministers for the power and public works portfolios.

The government is based in the south while the Houthis largely control the north and most big population centres.

The move comes as the United Nations presses the warring parties to extend a truce that expires on 2 August. It is also pushing for measures to stabilise the economy and launch inclusive political negotiations to end the seven-year war.

The mutli-faceted conflict, in which several factions are vying for power, has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.