Yemen's Hadi must be restored as president: UN chief

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Sunday for the restoration to power in Yemen of Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after Huthi militia seized power.

AFP| Updated: Feb 08, 2015, 19:44 PM IST

Riyadh: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Sunday for the restoration to power in Yemen of Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after Huthi militia seized power.

"The situation is very, very seriously deteriorating, with the Huthis taking power and making this government vacuum," Ban 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 UN chief told reporters after talks with King Salman in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

The Huthi militia on Friday created a "presidential council" in a move it said was designed to fill a power vacuum.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia, on Saturday described the Huthi action as a coup.

The Huthis overran Sanaa in September and seized the presidential palace and key government buildings last month, prompting Hadi and Prime Minister Khalid Bahah to tender their resignations.

Yemen has been riven by instability since the Arab Spring-inspired uprising that forced strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2012.

"I`m concerned that all these Huthis and... former president Saleh have been undermining the transition process," said Ban, who arrived in the kingdom to pay his respects after the January 23 death of Salman`s predecessor King Abdullah.

Ban met with other officials including Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani.

"This situation in Yemen has been the major topic which we addressed," Ban said, adding that it must be dealt with through UN Security Council and GCC initiatives.

Ban said UN envoy Jamal Benomar has been "working very hard in Yemen, facilitating a way out of the current political crisis and a return to the path of the peaceful political transition."