Yemen's Hadi 'in critical health' under Houthi siege

#InsideYemen

'Houthis refuse to lift the siege on Hadi until they reach a political agreement with the parties – even if he dies', warns ex-minister

A Yemeni demonstrator holds up a poster bearing the portrait of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi during a pro-government demonstration in Sanaa on 26 August, 2014 (AFP)
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Wednesday 18 February 2015 9:20 UTC
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Yemen's resigned President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi is in "critical" health condition, former Information Minister Nadia al-Saqqaf said on Monday.

"The Houthis refuse to lift the siege on Hadi until they reach a political agreement with the parties – even if he dies due to his critical health condition," al-Saqqaf wrote on Twitter.

Hadi has remained under house arrest by Yemen's Shiite Houthi militia since his resignation last month.

Earlier on Monday, UN envoy Jamal Benomar said that Hadi's residence was besieged by armed Houthi militants. He gave no word, however, about the state of the resigned president's health.

Hadi and his government resigned last month after the Houthi group seized control of Sanaa's presidential compound following clashes with army troops.

Earlier this month, the Houthi militia leadership issued a "constitutional declaration" dissolving the elected parliament and establishing a transitional "national council" in its place.

Most of the blocs in Yemen's dissolved parliament on Monday boycotted a meeting called for by the Shiite Houthi group.

"The meeting failed to materialise after it was boycotted by most parliamentary blocs in the House of Representatives," a parliamentary source, requesting anonymity, told the Anadolu Agency.

UNSC demands Houthi militia cede power

The UN Security Council on Sunday demanded Yemen's Houthi militants relinquish control of the government and withdraw their forces from the capital.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted a Britain and Jordan-drafted resolution at an urgent session to discuss the political and security crisis in the impoverished country.

The Houthi takeover was rejected by most of Yemen's political forces – along with neighbouring countries – which described it as a coup against constitutional legitimacy.

The resolution, which falls short of invoking Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that allows it to take military action, demanded that the Houthis "immediately and unconditionally" withdraw their forces from Sanaa and relinquish government and security institutions.

It also called for an end to "external interference" that sought to "foment conflict" and urged the Houthis to release President Hadi, Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and members of the cabinet who are "under house arrest or arbitrarily detained."

The Security Council decision comes three days after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's warning to the council that Yemen was on the brink of collapse.  

In their response on Monday, the Houthis told the UN body to “respect the will and sovereignty of the Yemini people, and to be accurate and objective.”

They also told the council “not to follow the lead of regional powers that aim tirelessly to eliminate the will of the Yemini people in a flagrant violation of international conventions that criminalise meddling in internal affairs.” 

Yemen has remained in turmoil since a popular uprising in 2011 forced longstanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down one year later.