Yemen rebel leader to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'

Yemen rebel leader to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'

Tensions between the Houthi and Saleh's party rose Wednesday after Saleh's supporters refused access of the Houthis to the Saleh Mosque in the south of Sanaa to secure a religious ceremony to commemorate birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Former Yemen dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced he is open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels, as his alliance with the Houthi insurgents appears to have crumbled. The reaction is another sign of a developing riftamong rebel groups in the Yemen civil war.

Diab says the Saudi-coalition forces are not too far from the capital, and the Houthis have become widely despised due to shortages of food, water, medicine and money.

"I call upon the brothers in neighbouring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighbourliness", Mr Saleh announced in a televised interview with the TV station Yemen al-Youm.

Saleh on Saturday said he was ready to turn a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which had intervened to place his successor back in power.

"The decision of Popular General Congress to take initiative and align itself with its people will free Yemen from loyal militias to Iran", he said in a statement released by Saudi SPA Agency, in reference to Saleh's party.

"That blockade has been partially wound down but not fully wound down".

"The people have revolted against Houthi aggression", he said.

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Others however questioned whether condemning the models borders on hypocrisy, or if all of the models actually uttered the slur aloud.

The two groups have been fighting the government of current President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, for almost three years.

Pointing to worldwide law, Lowcock said, "Wars have rules, and they need to be complied with".

The two groups had been fighting the Hadi government for almost three years under an uneasy alliance.

According to United Nations officials, more than 10,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 percent of the country's population has been displaced as a direct result of the conflict.

The Houthis, a Shiite tribal militia from northwest Yemen, have been at war with the central government for the better part of a decade.

But Houthi rebels, his allies until this week, accused him of a "coup".

The UN Human Rights Office has documented more than 13,800 civilian casualties, including more than 5,000 people killed since fighting began.

Yemen is now facing a near starvation and one of the worst outbreaks of cholera in decades.

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