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Saleh, Al Houthis in fresh war of words

Al Houthis have sidelined ministers loyal to ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh

Gulf News

Al Mukalla: In a fresh war of words with rebels, the party of ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has accused the Iran-backed Al Houthis of sidelining its ministers in key government-run institutions and raiding their supporter’s houses.

In an undated strongly worded letter sent to Al Houthis’ Political Office, Aref Al Zouka, the Secretary General of Saleh’s General People’s Congress, said that Al Houthis have monopolised authority and decision-making, breached agreements with the party and intimidated pro-Saleh journalists threatening to quit the alliance.

“These are clear indications and conclusive evidence that you have no desire to carry on partnership. We would like to inform you that we do not want a sham partnership,” Al Zouka said in his letter.

Fiery rhetoric between the awkward allies spilled into brief clashes last month in the capital.

Since then Al Houthis have moved to strengthen their grip on Sana’a fearing a coup by Saleh.

In an attempt to ease tension, Saleh’s party and Al Houthis met in Sana’a and agreed in August to defuse tension, ordering their supporters to calm down.

But days after the meeting, armed men belonging to the Al Houthi movement raided houses of pro-Saleh journalists and arrested others.

Earlier this week, the Al Houthi militia stormed the ministry of health and confiscated the minister’ stamp, accusing him of deliberately marginalising their supporters and corruption.

On Thursday, Al Houthis released a letter written on October 7 by Saleh Al Samad, the leader of their Political Office, and addressed to Saleh’s party.

In their letter, Al Houthis said that Saleh’s ministers in the government have purged their supporters and refused to employ Al Houthi militia.

The rebels also said that journalists loyal to Saleh have been inciting the public against their movement and blame them for failing to address the country’s economic problems and paying government salaries.

On Tuesday, a senior member of the Al Houthi movement provoked Saleh’s supporters by calling for the seizing Saleh’s wealth to pay salaries to public servants.

Residents in Sana’a fear that clashes between Al Houthis and Saleh would exacerbate humanitarian conditions and would drive people into fleeing to other areas.

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