— Domani Spero
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On September 13, 2014, ambassadors to Yemen from ten countries, including the United States and the UK released a statement of “grave concern” on the rising threat to the security of Yemen:
The Group of Ten Ambassadors notes with grave concern the rising threat to the security of Yemen posed by actions of groups and individuals who oppose full and timely implementation of the political transition in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, as well as the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, and as called for in UN Security Council Resolutions. The Group reaffirms its abiding commitment to the peaceful transition process as outlined in the GCC Initiative and calls on all parties to abide by the founding principles of the Initiative aimed at ensuring the security, stability, and unity of Yemen.
The Group of Ten Ambassadors further condemns Ansar Allah’s public statements, which essentially mean threats to overthrow the Yemeni government and holds the group responsible for the deterioration of the security situation in Sana’a, for not fully withdrawing from Amran, and from engaging in armed clashes in al-Jawf as provided in the UNSC Statements of 11/07/2014 and 29/08/2014.
As clashes escalated and advanced into the capital city, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa released an emergency message on September 18. No updated message has been posted as of this writing:
The Embassy informs the public that ongoing clashes are now affecting the area around 60 Meter Road after Madbah Junction near Eman University. Due to the continuing civil disorder and the escalating threat of violence, the Embassy advises all U.S. citizens to exercise great caution, avoid travel along 60 Meter Road beyond Madbah Junction, and use Movenpick Road to travel to the airport.
On September 19, Al Jazeera reports of continued fighting in Sanaa:
— AJELive (@AJELive) September 19, 2014
On September 20, a tweet from the UK ambassador to Yemen:
Condemn, in strongest terms, the fighting in/outside Sana’a. People in some areas terrified. Need immediate ceasefire. Do Houthis care? — Jane Marriott (@JaneMarriottFCO) September 20, 2014
Also on September 20, a statement from the UN:
— Jamal Benomar (@Jamal_Benomar) September 20, 2014
A proposal not an agreement:
Security committee chaired by Yemen president impose 9pm-6am curfew on four districts in northern Sanaa | Developing: http://t.co/XWVfXYvA5l
— AJELive (@AJELive) September 20, 2014
The UN Yemen deal was signed today, after Huthis rebels swooped on key institutions across Sanaa, including the government headquarters and military sites, after an apparent surrender by security forces, according to France 24:
Early on September 21, Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa also tendered his resignation:
— AJELive (@AJELive) September 21, 2014
A notable part of the newly signed UN-brokered agreement according to Al Jazeera is that the annex, which was not signed by the Houthis, stipulated their withdrawal from Sanaa, Jawf and Amran within 45 days:
Need something further to read on this?
Okay, now this:
Is this really the logo of the Houthis? (God is Great, Death to Amreeka, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews!) pic.twitter.com/zneK8QS8J1
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) September 21, 2014
According to Al Jazeera, the Houthis took over several government buildings in Sanaa including the defence ministry’s headquarters, the army headquarters, the parliament building, the Central Bank and the national radio station.
This Middle East Institute piece by Charles Schmitz on the Huthi Ascent to Power says that “The Huthi movement today must choose between pressing ahead militarily and provoking a bloody civil war in the capital or using its considerable political capital to form a wider, more inclusive and legitimate government in Yemen, to begin to address Yemen’s pressing problems. The movement appears to waiver unpredictably between the two options.”
No official statement either from Embassy Sanaa or the State Department concerning the latest developments or movements of personnel has been released. We will update if we learn more.
* * *
- Saleh Bites Back (carnegieendowment.org)
- Clashes in Yemen capital Sanaa (bbc.co.uk)
- Negotiations ongoing between the Houthis, government (yementimes.com)
- Yemen violence casts doubt on deal signing (aljazeera.com)
- Houthi rebels shell Yemen state TV, residents flee fighting (dailystar.com.lb)