Yemen President Resigns

Yemen President ResignsYemen President Resigns

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned on Thursday, days after Houthi rebels battled their way into his presidential palace, plunging the Arab country deeper into chaos.

Hadi, a former general, blamed the Houthis’ control of Sanaa for impeding his two-year-long attempt to steer Yemen toward stability after years of secessionism, tribal unrest and deepening poverty, Reuters reported.

“This is a coup,” said Ahmed al-Fatesh, a hotel security supervisor, suggesting Hadi had been bullied from office. “The Houthis took power by force. Hadi is a legitimate president and was elected by more than 6 million Yemenis. Hadi tried to bring the political forces together.”

In the first sign that the turmoil would affect US operations in Yemen, Washington said it had pulled out more staff from its embassy in Sana due to the worsening security situation.

“While the Embassy remains open and is continuing to operate, we may continue to re-align resources based on the situation on the ground,” a senior state department official said.

US authorities have made clear they want to avoid shutting the compound, which is important for counterterrorism cooperation with Yemeni security forces in the fight against a powerful al Qaeda branch based in the country.

The Houthi group said it had no official reaction as yet to Hadi’s resignation, but urged Yemenis to stage mass rallies to show their support on Friday afternoon.

Hadi, who led a United Nations-mandated bid to make political reforms and bury the autocracy and graft of the past, stood down shortly after Prime Minister Khaled Bahah had offered his government’s resignation, saying it did not want to be dragged into “an unconstructive political maze.”

Hadi’s decision marked an abrupt turnaround from Wednesday, when he said he was ready to accept Houthi demands for a bigger stake in constitutional and political arrangements.