UN calls for Yemen President Hadi’s reinstatement
Saleh’s party calls for return to dialogue moderated by the world body
People demonstrate against the dissolution of Yemen's parliament and the takeover by the armed Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group, in the southwestern city of Taiz, February 7, 2015.
Image Credit: REUTERS
Sana’a: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Sunday for the restoration to power in Yemen of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi after the Al Houthi militia seized power.
“The situation is very, very seriously deteriorating, with the Al Houthis taking power and making this government vacuum,” Ban said, referring to the group which dissolved the Sana’a government and parliament on Friday.
“There must be restoration of legitimacy of President Hadi,” the UN chief told reporters after talks with King Salman in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The UN envoy to Yemen returned to Sana’a and resumed contacts with major political players to find a way out of a deepening crisis caused by a rebel takeover, participants in the talks said on Sunday.
Jamal Benomar had left suddenly for Saudi Arabia last week, where he is believed to have held consultations with visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He returned to Sana’a late on Saturday and held meetings with all the main political factions, including leaders of the ruling Revolutionary Committee set up by the rebels, known as Al Houthis.
Al Houthis are under mounting pressure following their decision on Friday to dissolve parliament, which cemented their takeover less than five months after they seized the capital, Sana’a. Late on Saturday, the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh — Al Houthis’ main ally — added its voice to the growing opposition to the takeover and called for a return to the dialogue moderated by Benomar.
The Gulf Cooperation Council has denounced Al Houthis’ “coup.” Egypt, a regional powerhouse with longtime interests in Yemen, says it is alarmed and is closely monitoring the situation there.
The Arab world’s poorest country is reeling from the crisis, with many areas experiencing lengthy power and water cuts. Authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to pay government salaries on time.
Yemen is home to one of Al Qaida’s most active branches. Militants target army and security forces on a near-daily basis across much of the country, and US drone attacks targeting the militants have killed civilians, fuelling popular resentment.
Al Houthis’ capture of the capital in September and its formal takeover over the weekend puts the country of at least 25 million on a slippery path to civil war or sectarian strife. Al Houthis have clashed with Al Qaida militants, who are backed by powerful tribes in northern Yemen.
The Al Houthi takeover has also stoked secessionist sentiments in the south, raising fears of a repeat of the 1994 civil war, when the formerly independent south attempted to break away from its union with the north, forged four years earlier.
Last month, the rebels raided the presidential palace and besieged the residence of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, a southerner. Within days, Hadi and his Cabinet resigned. They remain under house arrest.
Hadi was elected president in 2012 after a popular revolt forced Saleh to step down.
Like Al Houthis, Saleh is a member of the Zaidi sect, a small branch of Shiite Islam that exists almost solely in Yemen. The Zaidis represent about 30 per cent of Yemen’s population.
Al Houthis’ opponents view them as a proxy of Iran, a charge denied by the rebels.
Yemeni students sing national anthem as they resume the second term of classes in a school following the Houthi takeover of the country's power, in Sana'a, Yemen, 08 February 2015.
Image Credit: EPA
Saudis down Al Houthi drones, missiles targeting Najran
Coalition taking measures to protect civilians and civilian property
File picture: A screengrab from a video of Saudi Arabia shooting down an Al Houthi drone.
Image Credit: YouTube
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Abu Dhabi: The Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Al Houthi drones and two ballistic missiles fired by the Iran-backed militia toward Najran, southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, a spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the coalition was taking measures to protect civilians and civilian property in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The coalition said the Al Houthi militia wereviolating international humanitarian law.
There were no reports of casualties and the spokesperson did not say whether the ballistic missile was downed in Yemeni or Saudi territories.
Saudi FM, envoys on Yemen from UN, US arrive in Oman for talks
They will hold consultations with Omani officials
Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Oman on a one-day official visit.
Image Credit: Oman News Agency
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Dubai: Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Oman on a one-day official visit. The US and UN envoys to Yemen also arrived in Muscat to hold consultations with Omani officials.
Upon arrival, Prince bin Farhan was received by Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Oman's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Prince Faisal was also received by Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs.
During their meeting, Prince Faisal handed the Omani Deputy Prime Minister a letter to the Sultan of Oman from King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, discussing the bilateral relations and ways to support mutual cooperation as well as issues of common concern.
The meeting also touched on the growing strong relations between Oman and Saudi Arabia based on the close ties between the two brotherly peoples, in addition to a number of issues related to supporting the Gulf Cooperation Council, the latest regional and international developments, and matters of common interest.
Earlier yesterday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Prince Faisal bin Farhan and discussed fraternal ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as ways to enhance strategic cooperation and coordination in all fields, to serve the interests of the two countries and peoples.
They also discussed were the latest developments in the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East.
Sheikh Mohammed emphasised the deep-rooted fraternal relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and the keenness of their leaderships to boost cooperation in all domains for the benefit of their peoples.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Board Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court.
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