WSJ learns of ‘virtual house arrest’ of Yemeni president

Hadi handed over his powers to the presidential council a week and a half ago. He is now in Riyadh and does not have access to a telephone, “virtually under house arrest,” the newspaper writes

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who handed over his powers to the Presidential Council in early April, did so under pressure from Saudi Arabia and is now “actually under house arrest,” writes The Wall Street Journal, citing sources.

According to one of the interlocutors, Hadi is now in residence in Riyadh and does not have access to telephone communications.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman handed Hadi a decree delegating his powers to the council, Saudi and Yemeni sources told the WSJ. According to them, the prince said that other Yemeni leaders agreed that it was time for the incumbent president to hand over his powers. Riyadh also threatened to publish details of corruption crimes allegedly committed by Hadi, the sources added.

At the same time, one of the sources of the newspaper in Saudi Arabia denies that pressure was put on the president with threats of exposure.

The head of the presidential office, Abdullah al-Alimi, denied information about the home Hadi's arrest, but said he would need time to contact the president, writes the WSJ.

The conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels has been going on since 2014. Riyadh supports the government and in 2015 led a coalition of Arab countries to fight the Houthis.

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April 7, Hadi announced the creation of a presidential council and the transfer of his powers to it. The council included eight people, it was headed by al-Alimi. In his first address to the people, he promised to achieve peace in Yemen through a “comprehensive peace process”.

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