Yemen's President Hadi heads to US for medical treatment

Hadi has been receiving treatment for a heart condition since 2011, according to news reports.

    Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi became Yemen's president in 2012 under a US-backed deal that saw Ali Abdullah Saleh step down from power [Reuters]
    Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi became Yemen's president in 2012 under a US-backed deal that saw Ali Abdullah Saleh step down from power [Reuters]

    Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has made an abrupt decision to travel to the United States for medical treatment, raising fears over his health.

    A statement on the president's official website read that Hadi, 73, travelled to the US late on Sunday for "a regular, annual medical examination".

    The statement added that he would then participate in the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York scheduled for September 18.

    Two Yemeni officials told the Reuters news agency that Hadi was expected to stay in the US until the end of September. Reuters added that Hadi had been receiving treatment for a heart condition since 2011.

    The head of Yemen's internationally recognised government, Hadi has been living in exile in Riyadh since the Houthi movement captured large expanses of the country in 2015, including the capital, Sanaa.

    In the last three years, he has made only a handful of sporadic visits to Aden, the last of which was in July.

    Powerless

    Hadi became Yemen's president in 2012 under a US-backed deal that saw Ali Abdullah Saleh step down from power after a year of protests that left more than 2,000 people dead.

    He was supposed to serve a two-year term but repeatedly postponed elections as negotiations over a new constitution through a National Dialogue Conference failed.

    But it was his decision to cut fuel subsidies in the summer of 2014 that sparked angry protests and forced thousands onto the capital's streets.

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    The Houthis exploited the unrest and marched south from their stronghold of Saada province to Sanaa, before surrounding the presidential palace, rendering Hadi powerless.

    After escaping house arrest, Hadi fled the capital to Aden before seeking sanctuary in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

    Since March 2015, a Saudi-UAE military alliance has been carrying out military operations in an attempt to roll back the Houthis' advances and restore Hadi's government.

    According to data collected by Al Jazeera and the Yemen Data Project, the alliance has carried out more than 16,000 air raids on Yemen, almost one-third of which have struck non-military sites.

    These attacks have targeted weddings and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, killing and wounding thousands.

    According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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