Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi

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Sayyid Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi (Arabic: عبد الملك بدر الدين الحوثي ‎) is a leader of the Zaidi revolution movement Ansar Allah (Houthis). His brothers Yahia Badreddin al-Houthi and Abdul-Karim Badreddin Al-Houthi are also leaders of the group, as was his late brother Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. [3] [4] [27] Abdul-Malik Houthi is the leading figure in a holy revolution in the Sadah province in northern Yemen which has been continuing from 2004 to the present day. The uprising has been called the Houthi Rebellion due to his leadership. The Zaidi community comprises around half of the population of Yemen, concentrated in the north. In traditional Zaidi religious belief if there is no clear leader for the Zaidi community a Caliph can emerge through armed struggle. Yemen was formerly ruled by a Zaidi Caliphate that ended in 1962.

Personal life

Abdul-Malik was born in Saada, northern Yemen, in 1982. Some sources stated that he was born on 22 May 1979. [6] [33] His father, Badreddin al-Houthi, was a religious scholar of Yemen's minority Zaydi Shia sect. Also, Badreddin al-Houthi turned to Jaroudi sect after traveling to Iran between 1994 and 2002 (alleged). [6] Abdul-Malik al-Houthi was the youngest among his eight brothers. [8] His older brother, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, was politically active and a member of the parliament of Yemen, as well as being a prominent critic of Ali Abdullah Saleh, former President of Yemen. Hussein founded the Houthis movement to promote Zaidi thought, rise against the oppressors ruling Yemen, and to provide educational and social services. After Hussein al-Houthi died, Abdul-Malik succeeded him by taking control of the movement.

Political activity

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi has criticized the Yemeni government for keeping a status quo in the country, which he said had plunged people into poverty, and accused the government of marginalizing the Zaidi community. [9] The Yemeni government of president Ali Abdullah Saleh accused al-Houthi's group of trying to reestablish the "clerical imamate" (Shia Islamic government), which al-Houthi denied. [10]

Houthi was claimed to have been heavily injured during an air raid in December 2009, a claim denied by a spokesman. [29] On 26 December 2009, it was claimed that Houthi had been killed after 2 days from a heavy air strike from the Royal Saudi Air Force. [12] [13] However, the claim was refuted by the Houthis which then released video evidence proving he was alive. [31]

Houthi addressed the nation on Yemen TV in a late-night speech on 20 January 2015 after troops loyal to him seized the presidential palace and attacked the private residence of president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Sana'a. He demanded Hadi implement reforms giving the Houthi movement more control over the government. Although it was initially reported that Hadi conceded to Houthi's demands, [16] the president resigned from office on 22 January, saying the political process had "reached a dead end". The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi. [18] Abdul Malik Al-Houthi also praised by Mohsen Rezaei, Iran's Expediency discernment council strategy and former senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in terms of a statement of moral support and defense of real Islamic awakening. [19] Abdul Malik also committed to ban using children as soldiers in November 2012. [3]

During bombarding the Sanaa's airport by Saudi-led coalition warplanes, missiles pounded rebel chief al-Houthi's hometown of Marran. [3]

Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi made TV speeches against Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, along with American and Israeli role in the region. [3] [3] [3] [3] [3] [3] [3] [3] [4] [4] [4]

International reaction

The UN announced a travel ban on Abdul Malik in November 2014 after the Houthi takeover of Sana'a. [4] During a visit to the northern province, Jamal Benomar, the former UN envoy to Yemen, both met with Abdul Malik and said that he supported Al Houthi group in their rejection of moving the talks between Al Houthi and current government outside of Yemen in spite of complaint of Hadi as the Yemeni legitimate president. [4] UN envoy, Jamal Benomar, has warned that the imposed sanctions on somebodies such as Abdul Malik could restrict reach of humanitarian aid to Yemen. [4]

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