sana'a - From our correspondent
The former president has severed his fragile alliance with the Houti's from the outset, presumably after an argument about the use of a mosque, and is now seeking rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, the country with which he has been at war for more than two years. The opportunist politician, who led Yemen for more than thirty years, wants Riyadh to denounce the blockade against his country, and then enter into a dialogue.
The Saudis are sympathetic to this and would have offered the support of Saleh's troops. Meanwhile, the residents of Sana'a are scared to death. Shots and explosions can be heard throughout the city, while fighter planes of the Saudi-led coalition are circling in the air. According to the Red Cross, dozens of people died during the fighting.
Saleh, who himself was driven from power during the 'Arab Spring', chose the Houti's three years ago when they took Sana'a on the legitimate regime. Saudi Arabia then embarked on an international coalition, including the United States, a devastating war in an attempt to expel the rebels from power. In doing so, all 10,000 deaths occurred.
However, a crying lack of food and medicine, combined with the outbreak of a series of epidemics, has claimed many more lives. Three-quarters of the population is dependent on humanitarian aid.
The Saudis imposed an overall blockade of the ports and airports last month after the Houtis had fired a rocket at Riyadh. After heavy international pressure, it has now partly been lifted. Still, inadequate relief supplies reach the country, where nearly a million people have contracted cholera.
In addition, diphtheria broke out two weeks ago. According to the World Health Organization, the blockade makes it more difficult to combat the disease, which has already claimed 22 lives.