Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—UN Special Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar is set to put forward an agreement to resolve the political crisis in the country, a source from a key Yemeni political coalition told Asharq Al-Awsat.
This development comes a day after UN-brokered talks between the Houthis and other Yemeni political factions ended without the various parties reaching an agreement.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, a source from the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), a coalition of six opposition parties, said he could not confirm or deny that an agreement had been reached following the resumption of UN-sponsored talks. Reports suggested Monday’s talks included a debate about re-establishing Yemen’s lower house of parliament, known as the Shura council, the source added.
Representatives of the Nasserist Unionist People’s Organization party and the Islamist Islah party said they walked out of the talks after receiving death threats from Houthi figures, including Mahdi Al-Mashat, director of the office of Houthi leader Abdel-Malik Al-Houthi.
“[Houthi representatives] want us to remain silent at the negotiating table and only listen to their instructions, which is completely unacceptable,” the Secretary-General of the Nasserist party Abdullah Noman told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Once [reporters] left the meeting room, a Houthi representative threatened me and the Islah party representative . . .We viewed this as unacceptable and therefore walked out,” he added.
The UN-sponsored dialogue resumed on Monday after a previous round of talks broke down last week following the Houthis issued a “constitutional declaration” that dissolved the parliament and tasked a “Revolutionary Committee” with running the country’s security affairs.
Senior Yemeni political sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, told Asharq Al-Awsat that they were surprised that no “explicit and clear condemnation has been issued by the UN against the Houthi coup.”
Previous talks between Houthis and Yemen’s political factions have collapsed over the Shi’ite group’s refusal to lift the house arrest imposed on former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his cabinet members despite their resignation from office, lay down arms and withdraw from state-run civilian and military buildings.
Meanwhile, in a step aimed at bolstering its grip on the Yemeni government, the Houthi movement sacked the secretary-general of the council of ministers Hussein Hubeishi, replaced him with a senior member of their own movement.
Also on Monday, the Houthi-appointed Minister of Interior Maj. Gen. Jalal Al-Rawishan issued an order banning public protests that have not been officially authorized in advance.
The order is widely seen as a response to the decision by thousands of Yemenis to take to the streets of the capital Sana’a to protest the Houthi takeover and demand the reinstatement of former president Hadi.