Yemen's capital gripped by rival protests

Protesters backing government rally in Sanaa as Houthi rebels vow to intensify efforts until their demands are met.

    Yemen's capital gripped by rival protests
    Pro-government protesters chanted slogans in support of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi [Reuters]

    Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in Yemen's capital Sanaa in support of the beleaguered government, as a large number of its opponents held a counter-demonstration vowing to intensify their protests until the cabinet resigns.

    Supporters of the government mobilised in western Sanaa after the weekly Friday prayers, in one of the largest crowds to convene since the standoff first appeared.

    Protesters chanted slogans in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and denounced rival protests that had crippled the capital,

    The official Saba news agency said "millions" of Hadi's supporters took to the streets in Sanaa and other parts of the country.

    Simulaneously, supporters of Shia rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi amassed on a road leading to Sanaa's airport where they have been demonstrating for weeks.

    The rebels, also known as Houthis or Ansarullah, called for further action against the government, who they accuse of corruption and whose resignation they have been demanding.

    Yemen rebels: Threat to stability?

    The Houthis have rejected overtures from Hadi to name a new prime minister, replace the government and reduce a disputed fuel price hike.

    Protesters called for an escalation of the situation, and a senior member of the Houthis politburo called for "civil disobedience" and urged supporters to join in new protests on Sunday and Monday to keep up the pressure on the government.

    The Houthis, who have been camped inside and outside Sanaa for weeks, have dismissed the government's 30 percent cut in the fuel price hike and pressed demands to end alleged corruption.

    The rebels have been fighting government forces and loyalist tribes in the north, where they have expanded their control beyond their traditional stronghold of Saada.

    Clashes in the Ghayl and Majzar regions, east of the capital, killed 17 Houthis and five tribesmen on Thursday, tribal sources said.

    Yemen has been locked in a protracted transition since long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced from power in February 2012 after a deadly 11-month uprising.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    China is one of the main exchange markets and hosts some of the biggest bitcoin 'mining pools' in the world.

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.