GCC demands forceful U.N. action on Yemen

The GCC has rejected the Houthi control of Yemen and warned of steps to protect Gulf countries' interests

Published: Updated:

Gulf Arab states on Satuday called on the United Nations to take forceful action over Yemen, where a Shiite militia has seized power amid concerns that the country is collapsing.

Yemen’s six Gulf neighbors called on the “U.N. Security Council to take a decision under Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter,” which allows the use of military force if there are breaches of the peace or acts of aggression.

They made their statement after holding an extraordinary ministerial meeting in Riyadh Saturday to discuss developments in the restive country.

The meeting comes as two of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member nations, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, announced that they had temporarily suspended their embassies’ operations in Sanaa and evacuated staff for security reasons.

Similar measures have been taken this week by the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands and Spain.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in several parts of the country in a second day of nationwide demonstrations in less than a week to protest against the Houthis’ seizure of power.

"Houthi, Iran: Yemen is not Lebanon!" protesters in the city of Ibb, which the militia have held since last year, chanted in reference to the militia's alleged support from Shiite-dominated Iran.

Witnesses said the Houthis fired warning shots to disperse the protest in Ibb, leaving at least six people wounded.

Also read: Six wounded after Houthis open fire on protestors

On Friday, the Houthis set up a presidential council to take over power from the presidency, a move which further deepens the chaos after Yemen's president and premier submitted resignation last month.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council on Thursday that Yemen was on the brink of collapse, as he appealed for action to stop the country's slide toward anarchy.

(With AFP)