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UN rejects Yemen rebels’ bid to form government

Rebel militias on Tuesday set up a rival administration to Hadi’s government

Gulf News

Dubai: The United Nations has rejected moves by Yemen’s rebel militias to set up a rival administration to the internationally-recognised government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday the government that Al Houthis are proposing is not recognised by the UN, which only recognises the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi as the legitimate government of Yemen.

During a press conference in Geneva, the spokesperson directed charges at the popular committees affiliated with Al Houthis and units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh for killing at least 10 civilians, including six children, and injuring 17 others, including six more children and three women, after an artillery shell struck a busy street next to a market in Bir Basha, in the Al Mudhaffar district.

Colville said the shell appeared to have been fired from an area where artillery under the control of popular committees affiliated with Al Houthis and Salehs are positioned. He added that witnesses who spoke to UN staff in Yemen said the street where the market was located, “was crowded with people at the time of the attack, and there had not been any armed confrontations between warring parties in the Bir Basha area before this terrible incident.”

The rebels on Tuesday formed a “national salvation” government led by Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor, who was named on Sunday. The administration is to have 27 ministers, the rebel’s “supreme political council” said in a statement.

The council was created in July by the Al Houthis and the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Bin Habtoor is a former governor of the southern port city of Aden and a member of the political bureau of Saleh’s General People’s Congress.

Abu Bakr Al Kerbi, a former foreign minister of Yemen and member of Saleh’s party, will head the “foreign ministry” while the “defence ministry” was given to General Hussain Khayran, who held the same portfolio in the Al Houthis’ revolutionary committee.

— with inputs from agencies

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