Arab League to meet on Yemen Wednesday

The Arab League said it will hold an extraordinary meeting Wednesday on the crisis in Yemen where Shiite Huthi militiamen have ousted Western-backed president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

AFP| Updated: Feb 15, 2015, 19:06 PM IST

Cairo: The Arab League said it will hold an extraordinary meeting Wednesday on the crisis in Yemen where Shiite Huthi militiamen have ousted Western-backed president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Yemen, a traditional US ally, has descended into chaos since the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa in September, and later ousted the government and dissolved parliament on February 6.

The decision to hold the special meeting of Arab foreign ministers comes as the UN Security Council prepares to discuss a resolution on Sunday, calling on the militiamen to step down or face consequences.

"The purpose of the meeting is to review the recent dangerous developments on the Yemeni scene," Arab League deputy head, Ahmed bin Helli, told reporters on Sunday at the organisation`s headquarters in Cairo.

When asked about the Arab position on the crisis, he said: "It is up to the foreign ministers to declare an Arab stand after studying all the aspects of the crisis."

The Arab League has previously accused the Huthis of carrying out a "coup" when it ousted the government of Hadi.

In their bid to establish authority across Yemen since sweeping down from their mountainous northern stronghold in September, the Huthi militiamen have tried to stifle opposition and been accused of detaining and torturing opponents.

They have refused to withdraw their fighters despite a UN call to "engage in good faith in the UN-brokered negotiations" led by special envoy Jamal Benomar.

The UN has also called for the release of Hadi, his Prime Minister Khalid Bahah, as well as other officials and activists under de facto house arrest or in detention.