UN Security Council demands Houthis step aside in Yemen

Resolution, urging Shia rebels to immediately relinquish control of Yemen's government, unanimously adopted.

    The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that demands that Houthi rebels immediately relinquish control of Yemen's government.

    Arab countries have been pressing for the use of military force against what they call the rebel group's "illegitimate seizure of power".

    But the resolution approved at an emergency council meeting on Sunday evening does not act under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would allow it to be militarily enforced.

    The resolution demands that the Houthi rebels "immediately and unconditionally" withdraw forces from government institutions.

    However, Mohammed Abdulsalam, a Houthi spokesman, said ahead of the adoption of the resolution that the group would not "cede power in the face of threats".

    The resolution also demands that the Houthis release US-backed President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his cabinet from house arrest and engage "in good faith" in UN-led peace talks.

    The Houthis, who have controlled the capital since September last year, dissolved parliament on February 6 and replaced the president with Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a cousin of Houthi leader, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi.

    The Houthis hail from the northern region of Saada and champion the interests of the Zaidi community, who make up a fifth of Yemen's 25 million population.

    Al-Qaeda threat

    The takeover has raised alarms that the world's most active branch of al-Qaeda, based in Yemen, would use the chaos to its advantage.

    Sunday's resolution called on UN member states to "refrain from external interference which seeks to foment conflict and instability".

    Yemeni officials say Saudi Arabia was sending arms and funds to tribesmen in Yemen's Marib province to bolster them against the Houthi rebels.

    Saudi Arabia, which shares its southern border with Yemen, has not commented on the claims it is arming or funding tribesmen there to fight the Shia rebels.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.