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Yemen’s Houthis Warn of Civil War Over Suspended Salaries

The Houthi group in Yemen has warned of an escalation of the civil war if the government does not pay the salaries of civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas.

Abdulmalik Al-Ajri, a member of the Houthi negotiating delegation, said that the situation has reached a critical point due to the issue of suspended salaries, which seriously threatens the fragile ceasefire in the country.

“The responsibility of the authority and the government rests with the responsibility of restoring the employees’ basic right to salaries,” the Houthi-run al Masirah TV quoted the official as saying on Friday.

Al-Ajri stressed that if the situation reaches a dead end, things will take an escalatory course, which they “do not wish for.” He called on the international community and the United Nations to realize that the issue of salaries has become a serious threat to the fragile ceasefire.

The process of paying the salaries of public sector employees in Yemen has stopped since 2016, as a result of the collapsing economic situation and the financial division between the Houthi-controlled north and the government-controlled south.

The Houthis have recently been facing increasing demands and pressure as civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas rallied to claim their overdue salaries.

The Houthis say their salaries must be paid by the internationally recognized government, which controls the oil resources.

However, the government says the Houthi group should fulfill its commitments in previous UN-sponsored agreements and transfer revenues of the Red Sea Hodeidah port and taxes to the central bank.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.

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