Jeddah, Aden-Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi asserted that President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi had met with U.S. and U.N. officials this week and had agreed in principle to a 72-hour ceasefire.
In an interview with Reuters conducted in New York, al-Mekhlafi said: “He (Hadi) asked that the ceasefire be taken advantage of by lifting the unjust siege of Taiz and for food to enter simultaneously.”
The foreign minister said Yemen plans to complain to the U.N. Security Council over what it says are Iran’s weapon transfers to Houthi allies.
In Yemen, Houthi rebels have started a new stage of violation by forcing residents to pay 500 Yemeni Rial ($2) in support of their war against the legitimate government in the country.
The average income of a Yemeni per month currently does not exceed $1.
Houthi officials have tasked military members of the group to take the necessary measures forcing every person in Yemen to pay money in support of the war.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that a number of tribal leaders and sheikhs are used to putting pressure on Yemenis loyal to them to force people to pay an amount of money for each family member.
The officials and sheikhs were also forcing Yemeni children and teenagers to enroll in the fighting operation, the sources said, adding that the families who refuse to send their children to war should instead pay money to the rebels.
The sources added that Houthis were awarding the sheikhs who comply with their orders.
A legal activist, who was lately arrested by rebels, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthis were still sending Yemenis to prisons, as part of the terror policy adopted by the group.
“Rebels hide their crimes from the eyes of the media because they fear the reaction of legal organizations, which are documenting human rights violations committed against the Yemenis since the fall of Sana’a to the Houthis,” she said.
In Yemen, tension escalated when Hadi was sent into exile, after former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Houthi supporters seized the capital city of Sana’a in 2014.
The legal activist said that some wives, sons and daughters went during Eid al-Adha to visit family members detained by the Houthis. However, she said, Houthis did not allow them to enter and instead insulted them.
The activist said that the detainees rejected the behavior of the Houthis. But prison officials punished them by not providing them with food and clean water for a whole day. Instead, they forced them to drink polluted water.
She said that Houthis had detained more than 30 Yemenis in the past few days, adding that more than 3,400 people have been in detention in Sana’a and its suburbs since the 2014 coup.
The activist added that Houthis are also selling the houses of opposition figures that had left the capital.
On Saturday, Houthis seized the house of Abdelwahab al-Ansi, secretary general of the Reform Party, looted its belongings before handing over the house to an official from the rebel group.