​Yemen Shia rebels, tribes agree truce

February 10, 2014 - 6:54:56 am

Policemen stand by a car damaged by a bomb blast in Sana’a yesterday. At least three people were wounded in the incident.

SANA’A: Shia rebels and Yemeni tribesmen agreed a ceasefire yesterday after deadly clashes between the two sides in the Arhab district near the capital Sana’a, state news agency Saba said.

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

Yesterday’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, Shia 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.

AFP

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