Yemen ministers resign in protest at Saudi-led coalition

Aden: Two ministers in Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government have resigned in protest at the Saudi-led coalition which they charge is keeping him in exile.

The internationally-recognised president of the war-torn country has for several months stayed in Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition supporting his forces against Shiite Huthi rebels.

Minister of state Salah el-Seyadi submitted his resignation on Wednesday in a letter, of which AFP has obtained a copy.

“Depriving President Hadi from returning to liberated zones (under government control) is a violation of national sovereignty,” he wrote.

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Abdelaziz al-Jebari also resigned, telling government-run Al-Yemen television that Hadi was “not being held against his will in Riyadh but cannot return to his country”.

Jebari called for a revision of links between Hadi’s government and the Arab military coalition to ensure “it is no longer a purely dependent relationship”.

The government has a weak presence on the ground, even in regions retaken from the Huthis over the past two years of warfare since the coalition intervened in Yemen due to high levels of insecurity.

In the port city of Aden, to which Hadi’s government retreated after the fall of Sanaa, clashes between government forces and southern separatists in late January left 38 dead and more than 200 wounded.