Security officials confirmed on Tuesday President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi refused to broker a truce with al-Qaeda militants, demanding that before he even considers sitting down at the negotiating table its leaders gave up their armed struggle.
Ever since 2011 popular uprising, al-Qaeda militants used the breakdown in security and central power to expand their hold over Yemen southern tribal regions, creating a state within the state. President Hadi had to resort to the military to out-root the Islamic militants from the southern province of Abyan in 2012 after they seized large swathes of lands.
In recent months, tribal leaders and clerics urged President Hadi to broker a truce with the terror militants in a bid to marginalize their message by turning the militant movement into a political one.
The idea was for Yemen to politically absorb al-Qaeda's militant claims by bringing them closer to the fold, hence de-radicalizing the organization.
However, President Had remains adamant al-Qaeda needs first to renounce publicly all forms of violence, apologize for the harm and grief it caused in Yemen before the government to agree to a negotiation.
"The president wants members of Al-Qaeda to surrender their arms, announce their repentance and renounce their extremist ideas," said an official source under cover of anonymity on Tuesday.
Although al-Qaeda does not present an imminent threat to Yemen stability, not as it did a year ago when it controlled Abyan, continuous targeted attacks against government's interests and officials are creating tensions and a sense of insecurity throughout the territory, which officials worry is slowing down Yemen reconstruction efforts.