Yemen president agrees to Houthi rebels’ demands

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Beleaguered Yemeni President President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi is accepting many demands of the Shiite Al-Houthi rebel militia for wider power-sharing of Yemen’s government, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

The Al-Houthis had taken over the presidential palace and replaced guards outside Hadi’s private residence in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

Although the group denied the staging of a coup, they demanded the implementation of constitutional changes as per the Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA) to allow them a role in all military and civil state bodies. Al-Houthis pledged to withdraw from the besieged areas in the capital once Hadi enforces power-sharing.

Speaking to reporters, Kerry said it was his understanding that Hadi is “going to accept if not all, most of, the objections that the Al-Houthis had”.

Furthermore, in a statement issued Wednesday evening, Hadi said Al-Houthis had a right to serve in posts in all state institutions, and that a draft constitution was open to amendment.

“The draft constitution is subject to amendments, deletions, streamlining and additions,” said the statement. All sides agreed government and state institutions, schools and universities should rapidly return to work, it added.

Following the acceptance of Al-Houthi’s demands, the airport, sea-ports and land-crossing of Yemen’s second city of Aden were re-opened. They were closed-off by authorities on Wednesday due to the turmoil in Sanaa.