Hope for peace in Yemen as the president hands over power to the new presidential council

Analysts have called the announcement a “big deal” in the bitter conflict that has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The newly formed eight-member council replaces Hadi, who has been president for a decade since the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012, as well as Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

“I irrevocably delegate my full powers to the President’s Leadership Council in accordance with the Constitution and the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism,” Riyadh-based Hadi said in a televised speech.

Perceived as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the conflict between a Saudi-led military coalition and the Houthi rebel group backed by Tehran is being fought. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the conflict broke out, while millions have been left on the brink of starvation.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $ 3 billion to Yemen’s central bank following the announcement of the formation of the council, the Saudi state news agency SPA reports.

The kingdom called on the council to enter into negotiations with the Iran-backed Houthis to reach a “comprehensive political solution,” the SPA added. The Houthis have not yet commented on the new presidential council.

Saudi also announced $ 300 million to the UN Humanitarian Aid Fund for Yemen and called for an aid donor conference to support Yemen.

The chairman of the council will be Major General Rashad al-Alimi, a veteran politician and former adviser to Hadi. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with al-Alimi after the announcement, Saudi state television showed.

Other members include UAE-backed figures, including the head of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidarus Al-Zoubaidi, and Abdulrahman Al-Mahrami, the head of the Giants Brigade. Tarek Saleh, a military chief and nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, will sit on the council.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is giving a speech as he delegates his own powers to a presidential council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

According to an official statement posted on the website of the Yemeni negotiations in Riyadh, the council plans to form an advisory committee composed of 50 experts.

Peter Salisbury, senior Yemen analyst for the International Crisis Group, highlighted the development on Twitter: “The announcement that Hadi is relinquishing his powers to a presidential council made up of key political and military figures with direct roles on the ground is a big deal. consequent change in the internal workings of the anti-Huthi bloc since the beginning of the war. ”

He added: “How this will actually work in practice will be … to say the least complicated.”

Gregory Johnsen, a former member of the UN Panel on Experts on Yemen, said in a Twitter thread: “This is an attempt, perhaps a last ditch effort, to recreate something resembling unity within the anti-Houthi alliance. The problem is, that it is unclear how these different individuals, many of whom have diametrically opposed views, can work together. “

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