Yemen Shiite rebels, tribes agree on a truce

Posters of al-Houthi Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, the late founder of Yemen’s al-Houthi Shiite group, are seen along a road ahead of his funeral in the northwestern province of Saada June 4, 2013. (Reuters)

Shiite rebels and Yemeni tribesmen agreed a ceasefire on Sunday after deadly clashes between the two sides in the Arhab district near the capital Sanaa, state news agency Saba said.

Shiite rebels from the Ansarullah group, also known as Huthis, have been advancing from their mountain strongholds in the far north to other Zaidi Shiite-majority areas nearer Sanaa in a bid to expand their hoped-for autonomous zone in a future Yemen.

Sunday’s truce is part of an agreement signed by the two sides committing them to an “immediate” ceasefire and to reopening roads in the area.

The deal will also see the army deployed to positions evacuated by rebels and tribesmen, and all fighters who do not come from the Arhab area will be pulled back.

In early February, Shiite rebels seized areas in the northern province of Omran, leaving more than 150 people dead and overrunning the home base of the Al-Ahmar clan which heads the powerful Hashid tribal confederation.

Political sources have said the rivals had been seeking to gain ground ahead of the demarcation of provinces for the creation of a federal Yemen, as agreed in a national dialogue which concluded in late January.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41