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UN envoy pledges effort to release Yemen president

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Sanaa: The UN’s envoy to Yemen vowed on Monday to press for the release of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is effectively being held under house arrest by militiamen who seized Sanaa.
Jamal Benomar visited Hadi at his house in the capital, where he discussed with the embattled leader the latest UN Security Council resolution that urged the Shiite militiamen, known as Huthis, to cede power.

“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.

In its resolution issued Sunday, the 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.

The text, adopted unanimously by all 15 members, also demanded the militia release Hadi, Bahah and other officials and activists under de facto house arrest or in detention.

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

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that Yemen is falling apart and called for Hadi’s reinstatement.

The Huthis overran Sanaa unopposed in September.

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

Yemen is home to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is considered the most dangerous affiliate of the global jihadist network.

AFP

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