Yemen's prime minister submitted his resignation to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Sunday amid chaos over reported advances by Shi'ite Muslim Houthi rebels on some military buildings and government offices in the capital. The move by Mohammed Salem Basindwa added to confusion in Sanaa, where Houthi rebels were due to sign a deal brokered by U.N. special envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar, intended to end the fighting and pave the way for a new government within two weeks.
"I have decided to tender my resignation from the government (of national reconciliation) out of my concern to pave the way for any agreement reached between the brother leaders of Ansarullah (the Houthis) and brother Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the president of the republic," Basindwa wrote in the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. Residents of Sanaa said that Houthi fighters have taken control of a number of empty government buildings, including the prime minister's office, a building used by the top military command, state television building and the headquarters of the First Armoured Division, which had previously been led by a general seen as hostile to the Houthis. The Houthis say that military contingents have sided with their demands for a new government. The accord calls for the creation of a new national unity government which will bring in the Houthis and mostly reverse an unpopular decision made in July to increase fuel prices as part of an economic overhaul intended to cut the budget deficit.