Sanaa, March 26: The Yemeni court in Sanaa controlled by Houthis on Saturday sentenced exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his six top officials to death for ‘high treason’. Notably, this was reported by state-run Saba news agency administered by Houthis.
The Houthi-controlled court called internationally-recognized President Hadi a "fugitive" and convicted him along with six of his top officials of high treason for impersonating a president after his presidential term expired and collaborating with the "aggression state of Saudi Arabia and its allies in the criminal aggression air, sea and land war against the Yemeni territories."
The six top officials facing death sentence includes Yemeni Ambassador to the United States Ahmed Awadh bin Mubarak, former Foreign Minister Riyad Yaseen, former head of the national security agency Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi, and three other top Hadi advisers.
Importantly, the court's decision was published on the eve of the second anniversary of Saudi Arabia's air war against the Houthis. Saudi Arabia and most of Gulf Arab military coalition have previously launched thousands of air strikes and a small number of ground troops to try to dislodge the Houthis and restore Hadi to power. On the other side, the Houthis is allied to Saudi Arabia's arch-enemy Iran, have progressively lost territory to the offensive but maintain control over the capital and most population centers.
However, several rounds of peace talks have ended in failure and the Houthis insist Hadi is illegitimate and must stand down, a position rejected by his government and the United Nations.
Notably, Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi rebels and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country. The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.
According to the United Nations estimates, over 10,000 people were killed and around three million displaced due to the civil war in Yemen. However, UN-brokered peace talks between the government and Houthi rebels have also failed to resolve the conflict.