September 24, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5847

Saudi Daily: San'a Has Fallen To The Houthis; The Yemen Deal – A Capitulation To The Rebels

September 24, 2014
Yemen, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 5847

The September 22, 2014 editorial for the Saudi daily Makkah addressed the Houthi takeover of the Yemeni state, saying that "no one can deny that San'a has fallen to the Houthis" and that this country is now in danger of collapsing or splintering into mini-states. The daily characterized the UN-brokered deal that had been signed two days earlier between the Houthi Ansar Allah organization and the Hadi government as an agreement of surrender to the Houthis.

The following are excerpts from the article:[1]

"The signing of a peace agreement between the Yemeni presidency and the Houthi movement at the presidential residence in San'a two nights ago [on September 21, 2014] will not spell the end of the Yemeni crisis. The atmosphere at the singing, which took place under the auspices of the UN, was clouded by the Houthis' sense of victory, after they successfully took over [all] the branches of the state in the capital and imposed their conditions and will upon all political sides. This holds many dangers for Yemen's unity and stability in the coming period.

"The agreement includes terms of surrender that the Yemeni presidency willingly agreed to, particularly the appointment of [a member] of the Houthi movement as an advisor to the president, and the rejection of the option of Houthi fighters withdrawing from the battle in Marib and Al-Jawf. Additionally, the agreement does not require the Houthis to relinquish the Amran Province, which they have completely taken over.

"Yesterday, residents of the capital [San'a] woke up to a reality that shocked them and that they could never have imagined. The streets of the capital were totally empty of police and soldiers, and armed Houthis deployed in the streets [in their stead]. No one can deny that San'a has fallen to the Houthis and that there are no traces of the state, which became unrecognizable when armed Houthis managed to take over most of the state headquarters and institutions, including the government, parliament, defense ministry, air force, and the army's Sixth Command headquarters.[2]

"The Houthis control Yemen today, after the group's leader, 'Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi, imposed his will on the regime. Several months ago, he managed to incite his followers against the government, and attracted some of the popular and political streams, claiming that he was defending the lower classes following the government's decision to raise petroleum prices.

"The Houthi Ansar Allah [movement] was clever in that it avoided mentioning its demands or ambitions during the conflict with the heads of the regime, focusing instead on slogans [calling to] ease the suffering of the people and [recognize] the political rights of all societal groups. They went so far as to make the agreement with the president conditional upon the appointment of an additional presidential political advisor, from the [the ranks of the] Southern movement that wishes to secede from Yemen.

"Assessments regarding Yemen's future speak of the danger of [this country] collapsing or splintering into mini-states: One in the south and controlled by separatists, and a second Houthi [state] in the north. This scenario is now closer [than ever], even though in the past, the Houthis fought six wars [for this purpose] against the regime led by former president 'Ali 'Abdallah Saleh, [but failed]."

Cartoon: The Iranian dagger takes over the traditional Yemeni dagger (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, September 24, 2014)


[1] Makkah (Saudi Arabia), September 22, 2014.

[2] One of the seven commands of the Yemeni army, responsible for the 'Amran, Sa'da and Al-Jawf governorates.

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