Kuwait PM declines reappointment, emir removes senior ministers

FILE of Kuwait's former PM Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah and Parliament members in session in 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 November 2019

Kuwait PM declines reappointment, emir removes senior ministers

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s caretaker Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak declined to be reappointed as premier on Monday, the state news agency KUNA reported, rebuffing the offer from the ruling emir after submitting the government’s resignation last week.

The Cabinet resignation came after lawmakers sought a no-confidence vote against the interior minister over alleged abuse of power and as a feud emerged over alleged mishandling of military funds.

The interior minister has rejected lawmakers’ charges against him.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah earlier on Monday removed his son, Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Interior Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah from their posts in the current caretaker Cabinet.

The emir sought to reappoint Sheikh Jaber as premier, a post he has held since 2011, and asked him to form a new Cabinet.

“I decline this appointment and ask that you accept that,” Sheikh Jaber said in a letter to the emir, citing media campaigns against him in the feud. It was carried by KUNA.

The defense minister had issued a statement two days after the government resignation, saying the Cabinet had stood down to avoid addressing mismanagement of some 240 million dinars ($790 million) in military funds before he assumed office. He said the Defense Ministry had submitted the case to the public prosecutor.

Kuwait’s Parliament has the power to pass legislation and question ministers. 


Yemen president dismisses army commander after battlefield setbacks

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, President of Yemen. (AP)
Updated 34 min 35 sec ago

Yemen president dismisses army commander after battlefield setbacks

  • Dozens of Houthis and loyalist forces, including commanders, have been killed since the Marib attack

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has dismissed an army general following a series of military setbacks in Nehim district, near Houthi-held Sanaa.
The official Saba News agency reported on Monday that Hadi had appointed Maj. Gen. Ahmad Hassan Jebran as the commander of the 7th Military Region, replacing Maj. Gen. Mohsen Al-Khubi.
Al-Khubi has been commanding government forces in Nehim and neighboring battlefields since August 2018. The Nehim battlefield has endured a military stalemate as government forces could not make major gains.
The dismissal comes amid reports that the Iranian-backed Houthis have seized control of Fardhat Nehim military base, a large swathe of the mountainous district and a strategic road that links Marib city with the northern province of Jawf.
The rebels expanded in Nehim following heavy clashes with government forces, backed by air support from Saudi-led coalition warplanes.
Last week, Yemen’s minister of defense said that army troops carried out a “tactical retreat” in Nehim to allow forces to regroup before pushing back into the battlefield. Fighting in Nehim escalated on Jan. 19, a day after a Houthi missile and drone attack killed more than 110 soldiers and civilians at a military base mosque in the city of Marib.
The attack prompted senior government officials to threaten to pull out of the Stockholm Agreement, which largely ended hostilities in the western province of Hodeida. Dozens of Houthis and loyalist forces, including commanders, have been killed since the Marib attack.

HIGHLIGHT

The dismissal comes amid reports that the Houthis have seized control of Fardhat Nehim military base.

Saba reported on Monday that Hadi telephoned the minister of defense and the governors of Marib, Jawf and Sana’a, hailing “victories” on the battlefields and ordering his forces to escalate military activities until they purged the Houthis from areas under their control.
Fighting also continued in Abyan’s Lawder district when the Houthis attacked government forces.
Similar clashes were also reported in Jawf, Marib’s Serwah and Taiz. UN envoy to Yemen urges recommitment to Stockholm Agreement
The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has urged the Houthis and the internationally recognized government to adhere to the Stockholm Agreement and to stop hostilities on the battlefields as the Yemeni government reiterated threats to pull out of the deal.
“The parties in Yemen must de-escalate violence and renew their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Yemeni people deserve better than a life of perpetual war,” he said on Tuesday, urging both sides to commit to keeping Hodeida safe and releasing detainees.
“More than a year ago in Stockholm, the parties promised the Yemeni people to keep Hodeida safe, to use port revenues to pay salaries and to return detainees to their loved ones. They must fulfill these promises and build a conducive environment for the peace process,” he added.
Yemeni government officials argue that the Houthis exploited a cessation of fighting in Hodeida to strengthen their forces in Nehim and Taiz.