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Mass protests in Yemen against Houthi coup

Ban Ki-moon says their must be restoration of legitimacy of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi

Published: Updated:

Mass protests were held in Yemen on Sunday against the Houthi rebels’ seizure of power there, as the United Nations called for the reinstatement of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi as the country's president.

"The situation is very, very seriously deteriorating, with the Houthis taking power and making this government vacuum," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, referring to the Shiite militia which dissolved the Sanaa government and Parliament on Friday.

"There must be restoration of legitimacy of President Hadi," the U.N. chief told reporters after talks in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The move by the Houthi rebels has been condemned both at the regional and international levels.

Gulf states expressed concern about the Iranian influence in Yemen and called for growing international role, a U.S. official said on Friday, hours after the Houthi rebels seized power in Yemen, dissolving the parliament and setting up a presidential council.

But no arrangements were made to contact Tehran about the situation during talks between Kerry and ministers and senior officials from Arab Gulf states, senior State Department official said on Friday after meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Talks to resume

Meanwhile, U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar said on Sunday that all Yemeni factions, including the Houthis and parliament, have agreed to resume talks.

Houthi’s chief “Abdelmalek al-Houthi and all political parties in Yemen have agreed to resume dialogue, which will begin tomorrow (Monday),” Benomar told reporters in Sanaa.

(With AFP)