Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Talks are under way between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia as the army considers military action to stop the expansion of rebels into the capital Sana’a, a senior government source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Underlying the failure to defuse Yemen’s security crisis, talks between the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Shi’ite militia remain “unresolved,” but are expected to reach an agreement soon to end the turbulence in Sana’a, a Yemeni presidential source speaking on the condition of anonymity said.
The rebel militia has stepped up attacks on military checkpoints and government buildings in Sana’a in a bid to wrest control of the capital from the central government.
Military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Yemen’s armed forces were fully prepared for a potential face-off with the Houthis, but added: “Reaching an agreement and a settlement would be in the best interest of Yemen in order to implement the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.”
UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar arrived in Sana’a on Thursday to push for the resumption of talks between Shi’ite rebels and the government, the state-run SABA news agency reported.
“Benomar expressed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s continued support to President Hadi to complete the remaining tasks of the transitional phase and to implement the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference,” it said.
SABA quoted Benomar as saying: “The international community will not allow any group to hamper Yemen’s march to harmony, peace, development and prosperity.”
Benomar’s office issued a statement saying that the UN official’s visit comes as Yemen “stands at a serious junction” in a bid to bolster efforts to “reach a peaceful solution based on the Transition Agreement [Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism], the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and Security Council resolutions.”
Meanwhile, local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that several senior Houthi commanders had been killed during violent clashes with the Yemeni army and pro-government people’s committees on Thursday as government military jets carried out three airstrikes targeting Houthi positions in Majiz city in the Ma’rib governorate.
At least seven civilians were killed and 12 others injured on Thursday during explosions across Amran city in northern Yemen, SABA reported.