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Yemen president accuses rebels of dashing peace hopes

By AFP - Nov 30,2016 - Last updated at Nov 30,2016

ADEN — Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Tuesday accused Shiite rebels and their allies of dashing hopes for peace after they unveiled a new government in areas under their control.

Hadi said Monday's formation by the Iran-backed rebels of a government of national salvation showed their determination to "spread chaos and destruction" and "destroys any chance of dialogue and peace".

Speaking through a spokesman from Yemen's second city Aden, the seat of his beleaguered government, Hadi called on the international community to "condemn this move and hold the militia responsible for the collapse of peace efforts".

Announcing their new government, the Houthi rebels said it was a response to Hadi's "stubbornness" in pursuing a deadly war against them with the support of a Saudi-led coalition since March last year.

The war of words comes as the UN envoy for Yemen shuttles between the two sides in an effort to revive a US-backed ceasefire that collapsed after just 48 hours early last week.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who has been attempting to persuade the two sides to agree to a government of national unity, met rebel representatives in Oman on Saturday and is scheduled to hold talks with Hadi in Aden.

The president, who is usually based in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, flew into Aden on Saturday on his first visit in a year.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said Hadi’s was the “only legitimate government” in Yemen.

In forming their own government, the rebels had shown their “lack of seriousness in engaging in political negotiations” and their “will to hamper the UN mediator’s intense efforts to end the war”, said GCC secretary general Abdellatif Zayani.

Oman is the only country in the six-nation GCC not to have joined the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen.

Fierce fighting has raged on the ground since the ceasefire collapsed.

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