Shiite rebels who were holding Yemen’s president captive in his home have reached a deal with the U.S.-backed leader Wednesday to end a violent standoff in the capital, the country’s state news agency reported. AP was there:
The agreement promised to give the rebel Houthi movement more say in the affairs of the Arab world’s poorest country in exchange for the group removing its fighters from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s home, the SABA news agency said.
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However, the late-night deal left unanswered who really controls the country and how much power is still held by Hadi, a key ally in U.S. efforts to battle Yemen’s local al-Qaida branch.
In the deal, the Houthis also agreed to release a top aide to Hadi that they had kidnapped in recent days.
SABA said the agreement included a clause that would answer the rebels’ demands to amend the constitution and expand their representation in the parliament and in state institutions. It also included promises to ensure better representation for Yemen’s southerners as well, the deal said.
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The agreement also calls on Hadi to shake up a commission tasked with writing a draft constitution to ensure bigger representation for the Houthis.