YEMEN-CONFLICT-POLITICSThe President of Yemen – a key ally in the West’s fight against al Qaeda – has resigned amid a stand-off with a rebel militia in the capital, according to an official. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi quit minutes after the country’s prime minister offered his cabinet’s resignation – leaving Yemen with no legitimate authority and sinking deeper into crisis and uncertainty.

The capital Sana’a has endured a violent and tumultuous week after Shia rebels – known as the Houthis – kidnapped the president’s chief of staff and then stormed the presidential palace. There was hope on Wednesday that a deal between the President and the rebels could calm tensions, but those were dashed by the resignation Houthi rebels began taking control of parts of the country last year.

Last September they moved into the capital but crucially decided to leave the presidential palace and government buildings untouched.  In a letter to the Parliament, Mr Hadi apologised to the Yemeni people but said he had no choice after the political situation reached deadlock. Yemeni analysts say the resignation was inevitable as the President had no power and for months had been ruling in name only.  The rebels were refusing to yield to Mr Hadi’s demands to release his chief of staff and withdraw their militias from the around his residence. More