Yemen rebel leader calls for mass protests

Abdulmalik al-Houthi says president chose new PM after meeting US ambassador, and calls for protests in Sanaa.

    Houthi fighters have refused to leave the capital, Sanaa [EPA]
    Houthi fighters have refused to leave the capital, Sanaa [EPA]

    The leader of the Houthi rebels in Yemen has called for mass protests in the capital Sanaa over the president's appointment of a new prime minister.

    Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Wednesday that the protests in the capital would be accompanied by unspecified steps "to contribute to correcting this mistake".

    The president, Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, appointed his chief of staff  Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as the new prime minister on Tuesday, a move Houthi asked him to reconsider.

    "What Yemen needs now is an independent [prime minister] who can have the responsibility in carrying Yemen through this transitional phase. We were surprised at the announcement. We received assurances that this particular name was eliminated but right after the meeting with the American ambassador, the name resurfaced," said al-Houthi.

    The Houthis quickly snubbed Mubarak on the basis that he was not selected through a consensus decision and that he was an "agent of the US".

    Houthi said he wanted protests in Sanaa on Thursday.

    The rebels refusal will further delay the implementation of a ceasefire deal sponsored by the UN that calls for the Houthis to withdraw from Sanaa once a new neutral prime minister is named.

    Houthi fighters stormed Sanaa on September 21, took over government buildings, mounted patrols and set up checkpoints.

    The rebels have refused to withdraw from the city despite the UN deal promising them more influence with the Sunni-dominated government.

    The US has been aiding the embattled Yemeni government in the fight against fighters, using drones to target al-Qaeda operatives, their camps and hideouts across much of Yemen.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.