A court in Yemen’s capital city Sanaa sentenced the country’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and six other top government officials to death for treason on 25 March 2017.
The court lies in a territory that is controlled by the armed Houthi movement, the arch enemy of the Saudi-backed pro-government forces. The details of the judgement were revealed by the Yemeni ambassador to the United States, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak through his social media account.
Mubarak is one among the six senior officials sentenced to death for treason along with the president. This judgement may cause further stalling of peace talks to end the two-year-long civil war in Yemen that has resulted in the death of almost 10000 people till now.
• Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country has been stuck between a war between the two factions the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen’s internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Hadi since almost two years.
• Though the Houthis and the Yemeni government have been battling each other on and off since 2004 but much of the fighting then was confined to northern Yemen’s poor province Saada, where the Houthi’s had a stronghold.
• However, in September 2014, the Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa and attempted to push further towards the country’s second-largest city, Aden.
• To restrict their advance, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in March 2015 to defeat the rebels and restore power to Yemen’s government.
• The Gulf Arab military coalition has launched thousands of air strikes since then and as a result led to the killing of almost two-thirds of reported civilian deaths.
• The Houthis that are allied to Iran have in turn been accused of causing mass civilian casualties in their siege of Taiz, third largest city in Yemen.
• Though several rounds of peace talks were initiated, all ended in failure with Houthis sticking to their claim of Hadi being illegitimate and must stand down, a position that has been rejected by his government as well as the United Nations.