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Saudi Arabia keeping Yemen President Hadi 'under house arrest'

Hadi's situation possibly mirrors that of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 November, 2017

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Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi along with his sons, ministers and military officials have all reportedly been barred from returning home for months.
Saudi authorities have reportedly put Yemen's president under "house arrest" and prevented him from returning home amid claims that Lebanon's former prime minister has met the same fate.

Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi along with his sons, ministers and military officials have been barred from returning home for months, Yemeni officials told The Associated Press in a report published on Monday.

"The Saudis have imposed a form of house arrest on them," a Yemeni commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

"When Hadi asks to go, they respond it's not safe for him to return as there are plotters who want to take his life and Saudis fear for his life," he added.

The commander said that in August, Hadi even went to Riyadh airport, planning to return to his temporary capital, Aden, in southern Yemen but he was turned back from the airport.

He said that the passports of several of Hadi's officials were seized – though not Hadi's – before they were given back. However, they are still barred from leaving.

Two other Yemeni officials confirmed that Hadi, his sons and several ministers who are with him in Riyadh have been prevented from going to Yemen.

The report shows how much the leader-in-exile has been deeply weakened in a war fought in his name by the Saudi-led coalition against rebels in his country.

The officials said the ban was prompted by the bitter rivalry between Hadi and the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the coalition and has come to dominate southern Yemen.

Hadi's situation possibly mirrors that of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned last week after travelling to Riyadh in a shock move that has triggered major concerns for the future of the small nation.

Pro-Hizballah daily Al-Akhbar claimed in a report on Tuesday that Hariri has been also been placed under house arrest in a villa inside the Riyadh Ritz Carlton compound amid an anti-graft purge in Saudi Arabia.

Hariri announced he was leaving his post in a television broadcast on Saturday from Saudi Arabia, citing fears for his life.

Citing high-level sources close to the outgoing prime minister, the newspaper said that Hariri's wife and children are being held separately in Riyadh, and could be used as a "bargaining chip" even if he was allowed to return to Lebanon.

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah has said Hariri's resignation has been "imposed" by Saudi Arabia.

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