Hundreds took to the streets of Yemen's capital on Tuesday for the second protest this week demanding that Huthi rebels who seized control of Sanaa leave.
Hundreds took to the streets of Yemen’s capital on Tuesday for the second protest this week demanding that Huthi rebels who seized control of Sanaa leave.
The rebels overran the capital 10 days ago in a lightning offensive and have maintained a strong military presence, conducting patrols and manning checkpoints.
Known as Huthis, the Shiite rebels have refused to quit Sanaa despite a UN-brokered deal to give them more influence with the Sunni-dominated government.
Frustration with their presence has grown and hundreds rallied in central Sanaa on Tuesday, after a similar protest on Sunday.
“The Yemeni people will not give in to Huthis,” chanted demonstrators who included university professors, rights activists and supporters of the February 11 Revolution movement, which was behind nationwide protests that brought down former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012.
Protesters also called on the rebels to vacate the capital’s university campus.
The UN deal called for the Huthis to withdraw from Sanaa once a new neutral prime minister is named, but President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has so far failed to appoint a new government chief.
It also required Hadi to appoint an adviser from within the rebel movement.
The deal was reached after clashes between the Huthis and pro-government Sunni Islamist forces on the outskirts of the capital that killed more than 270 people.
Also known as Ansarullah, the Shiite rebels have battled the government for years, complaining of marginalisation.
Yemeni authorities have accused Iran of backing the rebels in a similar fashion to their support for Lebanon’s powerful Shiite militia Hezbollah.