Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Yemen militia defies UN call to cede power

17 February 2015, 08:59

Sana'a - A Shi'ite militia that has seized Sanaa defiantly rejected on Monday a UN call to cede power, stoking tensions after Yemen's Gulf neighbours appealed to the Security Council to act forcefully.

Yemen is a traditional US ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, but the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country has descended into chaos since the militia known as Huthis overran the capital in September.

The UN Security Council, in a resolution adopted unanimously on Sunday, urged the Huthis to relinquish power, release President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi along with other officials, and to negotiate in "good faith".

It raised the possibility of sanctions, without going as far as Gulf Arab countries, which have demanded coercive measures under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter.

In response on Monday, the Huthis told the powerful UN body to "respect the will and sovereignty of the Yemeni people, and to be accurate and objective".

They also told the Council "not to follow the lead of regional powers that aim tirelessly to eliminate the will of the Yemeni people in a flagrant violation of international conventions that criminalise meddling in internal affairs."

The statement from the "Supreme Revolutionary Committee" was referring to the neighbouring Gulf monarchies which had demanded tough UN action.

"The revolution does not target our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council; not now, nor in the future," said the statement.

On 6 February, the Huthis ousted the government and dissolved parliament, tightening their grip after Western-backed President Hadi offered to resign in protest at their advance.

Prime Minister Khalid Bahah tendered his resignation at the same time, and both have been held under effective house arrest by the Huthis ever since.

Envoy seeks Hadi release

On Monday, the UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, vowed to press for their release, after he visited Hadi at his besieged house in Sana'a.

"I assured him that we will continue our efforts to lift the house arrest imposed on him and the Prime Minister" Khalid Bahah, Benomar said in a statement.

The information minister in Bahah's resigned government, Nadia Sakkaf, said meanwhile that Hadi needed to travel abroad "immediately" for medical treatment.

"I visited President Hadi today. He has a heart condition and was quite ill. He must be allowed to travel for treatment," Sakkaf wrote on Twitter.

Also read: UK embassy in Yemen closes, evacuates staff amid chaos

In its resolution issued on Sunday, the UN Security Council demanded the Huthis "immediately and unconditionally" engage in "good faith" in UN-brokered negotiations, withdraw their forces from government institutions and relinquish power.

It also demanded the militia release Hadi, Bahah and other officials and activists under de facto house arrest or in detention.

The Huthis overran Sana'a unopposed in September.

They have since expanded their control to coastal areas and regions south of Sana'a, where they have faced fierce resistance from Sunni tribes and al-Qaeda militants.

Amnesty International accused the Huthis on Monday of torturing protesters "in a bid to dissuade dissent".

"The Huthi stooped to a dangerous new level of intimidation and violence to strike fear into anyone protesting their rule," said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty, currently in Yemen.

"Testimonies reveal how protestors have been detained and tortured for days on end. The safety of all those who dare to speak out against the Huthi rule is on the line," she said in a statement.


Tags yemen

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...