Pro-govt Yemenis protest against Houthi rebels

The rallies coincide with rival protests staged by thousands of Shiite Houthis

Pro-govt Yemenis protest against Houthi rebels

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tens of thousands of pro-government Yemenis on Friday staged protests in capital Sanaa and other cities to call for "national unity" and protest recent violence in the country.

The rallies coincide with rival protests staged by thousands of Shiite Houthis, who demand that the government resign and reverse a recent decision to slash fuel subsidies.

Friday's pro-government rallies came in response to calls by the self-styled "Popular Rally for the Protection of National Gains," which backs the government and opposes the Shiite Houthis.

Most of the protests in the capital took place on Road 60, the site of anti-regime protests in 2011 – which led to the ouster of autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh one year later – and the road on which Yemen's current president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, has his personal residence.

Demonstrators, waving Yemeni flags and placards on which were written anti-Houthi phrases, called on President Hadi to protect the country from danger.

Yemen was polarized further weeks ago when tens of thousands of Houthis, who take the country's northern provinces as strongholds, took to the streets to pressure the government to step down and reverse an earlier decision to slash fuel subsidies.

A presidential mediation committee, meanwhile, failed to persuade the Houthis against further escalating their protests, while the presidency has refused to yield to the Houthi's demands.

Tens of thousands of Houthis have converged on Sanaa amid fears of an imminent showdown between the army and the well-armed Houthis.

Previous confrontations between the Houthis and the Yemeni army in the country's north left hundreds of dead and injured on both sides.

Yemen has remained in turmoil ever since Saleh's 33-year rule ended in 2012.

Along with containing a Houthi insurgency in the north, Yemen's post-Saleh government has to deal with mounting violence – attributed to Al-Qaeda-linked groups – in the country's south.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Ağustos 2014, 17:32