Yemen government resigns under pressure from Shia Houthi rebels
President Mansour Hadi of Yemen along with Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his cabinet have resigned.
Yemen government’s resignation comes after the President agreed to the demands of Shia Houthi rebels, who had stormed his palace and private home in Sana’a (Capital of Yemen) earlier.
However parliament speaker Yahia al-Rai refused to accept the President’s resignation.
Who are Shia Houthi rebels of Yemen?
- This rebel group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, their former commander, who was killed by Yemeni army forces in September 2004.
- They adhere to a branch of Shia Islam known as Zaidism (a sect of Islam exclusively present in Yemen).
- These rebels are members of a group also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God). They are fighting to win greater autonomy for their heartland of Saada province, and also to protect Zaidi religious and cultural traditions from perceived encroachment by Sunni Islamists.
- It should be noted that Zaidis make up one-third of the population of Yemen. They had ruled North Yemen under a system known as the imamate for almost 1,000 years which came to end in 1962.
- After death of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, his successors had led five uprisings. But in 2010, ceasefire was signed between Yemeni government and Houthi rebels.
- But current crisis began after President Hadi had declared that Yemen will be federation of six regions by drafting constitution in February 2014.
- Houthi rebels have rejected this draft constitution creating federation of six regions in Yemen.