In a surprise move, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Yemen’s foreign minister, has been appointed as the country’s new Prime Minister, according to Al Jazeera.
Yemen, a nation in the Arabian Peninsula, is experiencing increased tensions as a result of a wave of Red Sea attacks on ships by Houthi rebels, which have triggered retaliatory strikes by the United States and the United Kingdom recently.
Bin Mubarak has notably replaced Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed amid the escalation of tensions in the Red Sea.
Bin Mubarak was named premier of Yemen on Monday, according to a decision issued by the country’s Presidential Leadership Council, which was reported by the official news agency of the country. The former prime minister was given the position of presidential adviser, Al Jazeera reported.
However, there is no clarity on why the move was made.
Former Yemeni ambassador to the US, Bin Mubarak, is widely viewed as a fierce opponent of the Houthi rebels, according to Al Jazeera.
He first gained prominence in 2015 when, amid a power struggle with then-President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, he was abducted by the Houthis while serving as Yemen’s presidential chief of staff.
The seizure of bin Mubarak contributed to the political unrest in Yemen, which led to hostilities between the Houthis and Hadi’s presidential guards and the resignation of the government and the president.
In 2018, Bin Mubarak was also designated as the country’s representative to the United Nations.
The Houthi rebels, who are an Iran-aligned group, started the strikes in retaliation for Israel’s Gaza conflict. The Houthis have said that they will not stop attacking until Israel ends the hostilities in Gaza.