UPDATE 1:15 p.m. EST: President Hadi has submitted his own resignation along with the prime minister and the Cabinet, the Associated Press reports.
Yemen’s government offered its resignation to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi Thursday as Houthi rebels held their positions outside the presidential palace in Sanaa a day after seizing the compound, reported Reuters. The leader remains a virtual prisoner even after indicating Wednesday that he was ready to accept Houthi demands allowing the Shiite minority faction a greater role in Yemen’s government.
It was not immediately clear whether Hadi had accepted the resignation of the government, which is composed of technocrats and politicians drawn from a number of parties, said Reuters. The government was named in November and won a vote of confidence from parliament a month later.
This is not the first time Yemen’s government has attempted to quell Houthi pressure with an offer of resignation. In August, the government offered to resign following Houthi protests over fuel subsidy cuts that brought tens of thousands of Yemenis out to protest in the streets of Sanaa. That crisis laid the groundwork for the group’s eventual takeover of the capital.
Houthi leader Abdul Malki al-Houthi went on television Tuesday to accuse Hadi and other political leaders of ignoring the interests of the Yemeni people, reported the BBC. His rebel movement denies charges that its actions in recent days amount to a coup, but they have yet to withdraw from their positions around the presidential palace and continue to hold a key presidential aide captive.
The crisis has raised fears of a power vacuum amid the global fight against al Qaeda, including Yemen’s particularly aggressive faction of the group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Houthi has also accused the government of encouraging the spread of the Sunni group -- and enemy of the Shiite Houthis -- which claimed credit earlier this month for the attack on the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.