Sunday, September 21, 2014 5:17 pm
Shiite rebels seized the Yemeni government headquarters on Sunday and prime minister Mohamed Basindawa resigned, accusing the president of being “autocratic”, senior officials said.
The rebels, demanding a wider political partnership and the government’s resignation, have been locked in deadly clashes for days with Sunni fighters and troops.
The Ansarullah rebels, also known as Huthis, “seized the government headquarters and the radio, as well the Fourth Brigade,” an official said.
A spokesman for the rebels, Mohammed Abdulsalam, confirmed on his Facebook page that the government complex had been taken and the premier had stepped down.
He also said parts of “the military and security apparatus have supported the popular revolt”, in reference to weeks of protest by the rebels.
Abdulsalam said these included “the general command of the armed forces, the radio”, the government and other official institutions in Sanaa.
The council of ministers released the text of a letter signed by Basindawa in which he said: “I have decided to present to you my resignation as prime minister.”
“The partnership between myself and the president (Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi) in leading the country only lasted for a short period, before it was replaced by autocracy to the extent that the government and I no longer knew anything about the military and security situation.”
The official Saba news agency announced Basindawa’s departure, but without saying why.
Sunday’s developments come despite UN envoy Jamal Benomar announcing late the day before that a deal had been reached between authorities and the rebels.