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Yemen’s General People's Congress Wants to Retrieve Saleh's Body for Burial

Yemen’s General People's Congress Wants to Retrieve Saleh's Body for Burial

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018 - 08:45
Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen August 24, 2017. (Reuters)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat
Leaders of the branch General People's Congress that is controlled by the Houthis officially revealed their ongoing efforts with militias to retrieve the body of late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and release his detained relatives.

A statement issued following a "General Committee" meeting of senior party leaders announced on Monday that Saleh's body is still with the Houthi militias and has not been buried as it was claimed. The statement hinted that the group refuses to hand over the body, release Saleh's relatives and return seized money.

The meeting in Sanaa was headed by Sadeq Amin Abu Ras. The party's Sanaa chapter chose Abu Ras as Saleh's successor, a move that was rejected by party figures loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

After Saleh’s murder by the Houthis in December his party split into one controlled by the militias and another that supports the pro-legitimacy forces.

The Monday meeting began with a minute for silence over the death of Saleh and his companion, Aref al-Zuka, who was killed with him last December. Discussions then tackled latest developments, said the party's website.

The General Committee renewed its demands for the release of Saleh’s body so that he could be properly buried. A similar demand was made for the release of the bodies of the sons of Sheikh Naji Jamaan, member of the General Committee.

It also stressed the importance of completing the release of the remaining detainees and handing over the Congress' properties and funds.

Contrary to what was rumored about the Houthis' burying of the former president, Saleh's body remains in an unknown location, the statement revealed. The gatherers believed that it is in a hospital morgue under militia control.

In the past few days, Houthis tried to reconcile Saleh's loyalists with members of the party. The group said that it had released all civilian and military detainees loyal to the party and the former president, who were previously accused of participating in the uprising against it.

The Houthis continue to detain two of Saleh's sons and at least five of his relatives, among others, and refuse to release them so that they can be used as bargaining chips, observers say.

The Sanaa gatherers stressed the need to maintain the party under Abu Ras' leadership and condemned recent assassinations and continued UN sanctions on Saleh's eldest son.

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