April 4-10: Fighting continues in lead-up to Sunday ceasefire

Monday, April 4Following Hadi’s unexpected cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, a 10-member group of Yemeni politicians said in a statement that they “completely support” the appointments of General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as the new vice president and Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr as the new prime minister, who are replacing Khaled Bahah in both posts. The signing parties included The Southern Movement and The General People's Congress.

Weapons reportedly being shipped from Iran to Yemen were seized on March 28, according to a US Navy statement released on Monday. The weapons were hidden on a small boat and included AK-47s, RPGs, and .50 caliber machine guns.   The seizure comes eight days after another cache of weapons heading to Somalia was confiscated by French authorities.

Tuesday, April 5 Yemen's former vice president and prime minister Bahah, who was sacked by Hadi on Sunday, says that his removal is a "coup against legitimacy" that undermines the cabinet and its efforts to end the war. An unnamed Yemeni government official also said the shake-up might undermine the peace talks scheduled to start in Kuwait on April 18.

According to AlAraby, the leaked Panama Papers reveal that a number of offshore companies used as tax havens were founded by the family of Yemen’s prominent businessman, and close friend of Saleh, Shaher Abdulhak.

Thursday, April 7 Human Rights Watch released a report on Thursday which revealed that remnants of US-supplied weapons were found at the site of the Saudi coalition’s March 15 attack on the Hajjah market, which killed 97 civilians, including 25 children. Evidence of US-supplied MK-84 2,000-pound bomb mated with a JDAM satellite guidance kit, also US-supplied, were found at the site. The attack was the war’s deadliest so far.

Al-Masirah and a number of other outlets in Yemen reported airstrikes on Thursday in San’a, Bayda, Ma’rib, and Hajjah. These strikes came three days before the ceasefire was set to begin.

Friday, April 8 In comments to Middle East Eye, Houthi sources explain why Hadi will never be accepted as Yemen’s leader or as part of the post-war government. Hadi’s recent dismissal of his former prime minister and vice president Bahah isolates Hadi further, as Bahah’s supporters see this move as an attempt by Hadi to cling to power at the expense of upcoming peace talks.

Reuters reports that al-Qaeda in Yemen is one of the main benefactors of the Saudi-led war. As a result of the country’s destabilization, the group has managed to establish an “economic empire” in the port city of Mukalla and has gained over $100 million in stolen bank deposits and revenue, earning $2 million per day from taxes on goods and fuel.

Saturday, April 9 At least 20 pro-Hadi government soldiers were kidnapped and executed and 17 others were injured in southern Yemen’s Abyan province on Saturday, according to local officials. A military source says the killings were carried out by al-Qaeda, but the group denies these accusations, claiming that a local armed gang led by a man named Ali Aqeel is responsible for the incident.

An American man held in San'a was reportedly released by the Houthis after Omani negotiators interceded on his behalf. The man was flown from San'a to Muscat, according to a statement by Oman's foreign ministry. No details about the man have yet been provided.

Sunday, April 10 Hours before the ceasefire was due to start, clashes between pro-Hadi forces and Houthi fighters broke out north of Sana’a, in Ta’iz, and in Bayda province, where 20 people were killed. The ceasefire was postponed, however, by 24 hours and began midnight on Monday.