Yemeni opposition announces united front against Houthis

March 14, 2015 16:23


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SANAA - Opponents of Yemen's Houthi militia announced the formation of a national alliance on Saturday to restore the authority of the state, in a major shakeup of Yemen's political landscape.

The coalition, called the National Salvation Alliance, formally unites players from across Yemen's regional and ideological divides. It may strengthen their hand in ongoing United Nations-backed talks for a unity government.

"Its goal is to protect the state from collapse and disintegration while seeking to build a federal, democratic Yemen which rejects militias no matter whose side they may be on," Manea al-Matari, a former protest organiser and a member of the bloc, told Reuters.

The seven parties include activists, Islamists and members of Yemen's former ruling party, who back President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from his base in the country's South.

It replaces the Joint Meetings Party, an opposition umbrella group founded in 2005. It joined many of the same groups that opposed Hadi's predecessor, veteran autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh, until he was swept from power by Arab Spring protests in 2011.

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