A new reality resulted from the takeover of the Houthi of the capital city Sana’a. It was marked with human rights violations against political and human rights activists, journalists, peaceful protesters and professionals working with media outlets.
Mohammed Salim Basindawa, the former prime minister, resigned on the same day that the Houthi captured the capital and forced all the political parties and entities to sign the Peace and National Partnership Agreement to form a new united government, seek an immediate cease fire, and uninstall Houthi military checkpoints from Sana’a and the surrounding borders. Meanwhile, as the leaders of the Houthi group were signing the deal, their insurgents completed their entire control over Sana’a on September 21, 2014.
In November 2014, a new united government was established, headed by Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah. The new cabinet included diverse political entities that signed the GCC initiative and from the Houthis and the Southern Movement according to the Peace and National Partnership deal. President Hadi appointed many representatives from the Houthi armed groups to vital positions in the government.
Despite the deal, the Houthi group continued their oppressive approach towards their political opponents or those opposing them from civil society. They raided and looted the headquarters of the political parties, civil society organizations, human rights organizations, schools, universities, mosques, and media buildings. They kidnapped hundreds of politicians, media reporters, and human rights activists.
At the same time, the Houthi group adopted a loaded hate speech against its opponents and called them either “Daish [from ISIS]” or “Takfeeri [Who accuse other with blasphemy]”. This speech went side by side with a number of mysterious assassinations against high-profile politicians including some members of the Houthi movement itself. There were some bombing incidents targeting mosques, sites of worship and public places.
The Houthi insurgents continued weakening the fragile united government and attacked the presidential palace in Sana’a and they put President Hadi under house arrest, resulting in the killing and injuring of 25 of Hadi’s personal guards and relatives.
On January 22, 2015, the continued Houthi aggressions and under house arrest prompted the newly appointed cabinet to hand a resignation to President Hadi. A few hours later, Hadi himself handed his resignation to the parliament attributed to “the new updates that emerged since September 21, 2014”. Yet, he rescinded his resignation after he managed to escape the firm grip of the Houthi to Aden and declared it the “temporary capital of Yemen.” He justified his resignation that it was under force, and he declared that all decisions made after September 21 until his release were not effective and not legal. He said that these decisions were made under threat of violence from the Houthi group.
Hadi’s resignation handover left the country in a political turmoil prompting the Houthis to declare, away from other forces, a constitutional declaration on February 6, 2015, to dissolve the parliament and set up a Revolutionary Committee to administer the country headed by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi.
President Hadi attempted from the interim capital to regain his legitimacy as the country’s lawful president by imposing new appointments. However, he was confronted by the new Saleh-Houthi coalitions that stood out against him to resume his presidential office. As a result, a mass division was created inside the security and the military institutions that resulted in an armed conflict taking place in Aden. Air forces, affiliated with the former president’s regime, targeted Hadi’s presidential resident in Aden.
On March 24, 2015, President Hadi effectively called on the Arab League for a military intervention to stop the territorial expansion of the Houthis and Saleh forces in Yemen and to regain his legitimacy.
On March 25, 2015, pro-Saleh forces took control over Aden airport and military fire jets shelled the presidential palace of Hadi, forcing him to flee across borders by land through Hadhramout, Mahrah, to Oman and then to the Saudi Capital Riyadh.
Houthi groups and Saleh troops continued their territorial expansion in the rest of the cities in order to produce a new geo-political reality by the threat of violence. But the capital Sana’a was awakened during the night of March 26, 2015 by the first strikes of the military operations of the Arab Coalition on Yemen led by the Saudis and called the “Operation Decisive Storm”. Fire jets launched air strikes on the military sites of the Houthi and Saleh loyalists in Sana’a and other governorates.
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