First Published: 2017-10-19

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels
Tensions have been rising in rebel ranks since public dispute between Shiite Huthis and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Middle East Online

Cracks first surfaced when Houthis accused Saleh of treason after his comments on Iranian militias.

SANAA - New signs of tension between Yemen's Huthi rebels and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh emerged Thursday with a fresh wave of mutual accusations threatening their three-year alliance.

Saleh and the Shiite Huthis have jointly controlled the capital Sanaa since September 2014, but tensions have been rising in their ranks since a public dispute between the two in August.

Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) on Thursday complained of humiliation at the hands of the Huthis, accusing the rebels of waging an "orchestrated campaign" against the former strongman.

In an open letter to Ansar Allah, the political party led by rebel chief Abdulmalik al-Huthi, the GPC said its ministers in the unofficial rebel government had been "humiliated" by the Huthis, who "lack the will to maintain partnership".

Ansar Allah fired back, accusing the GPC of breaking their pact with the Huthis and accepting funds from the rival government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, in a statement by the party's political leader Salah Sammad.

Sammad accused the GPC of "sapping internal unity" and paralysing the rebel government.

Cracks first surfaced between Saleh and Abdulmalik al-Huthi in August when the Huthis accused Saleh of treason after the former president publicly dismissed the Iran-backed rebels as "militias".

For decades sworn enemies, forces loyal to Saleh and the Huthis joined ranks in 2014 to drive the Hadi government out of Sanaa.

The rebel alliance is locked in a war with government forces backed by a Saudi-led Arab military coalition that has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

More than 8,600 people have been killed since the coalition joined the Yemen war in 2015.

 

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