Saturday, February 21, 2015
Deposed Yemeni president Mansour al-Hadi leaves residence
People in the South-Yemeni capital Aden demonstrated on 20 February after the Friday prayers against the Houthi takeover in Sana'a. (Photo AFP) Forces loyal to deposed president Mansour Hadi last Monday took over Aden's television building, its main power station, the intelligence headquarters and the free zone authority offices in five hours of clashes against forces led by a general seen asallied to the Houthis.
Yemen's former president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi left his official residence after weeks of house arrest by the Houthi militia on Saturday and flew to his home town of Aden. The United Nations, which oversaw a new power-sharing agreement between the Houthi group, also known as Ansarullah, and Yemen's other rival factions on Friday, helped him travel to Aden.Hadi's Sanaa residence was looted by Houthi militiamen after he left, witnesses said, but the former president arrived at his home in the Aden district of Khormaksar, sources told Reuters.
Yemen's rival parties agreed on Friday to create a transitional council to help govern the country and allow a government to continue operating with input from other factions after the effective Houthi takeover.
Western countries are worried that unrest in Yemen could create opportunities for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to plot more attacks against international targets. Late on Friday a drone destroyed a car carrying suspected members of AQAP in Shabwa Province, a bastion of the militant group in the rugged mountains of southern Yemen, killing at least three people, residents said.
The United States has acknowledged it carries out drone strikes in Yemen but does not comment on specific attacks. The strikes, which have killed civilians, have angered many people in the country. Hadi was seen as a supporter of the use of drone strikes against AQAP.
Yemen has fallen into turmoil since a 2012 uprising forced out president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been in power for 33 years, after a year of unrest. Following Saleh’s overthrow, the Houthis, al-Qaeda, separatists from the former independent South, and tribesmen have been fighting each other to gain power. The Houthis are widely believed to be backed by Saleh.