01/21/2015, 00.00
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Sanaa in chaos, Shiite rebels attack the presidential palace. UN condemnation

The rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi speaks of "a critical" phase for nation and accuses President Hadi of putting his own interests before the good of the people. Yesterday the fragile truce was violated, with attack on the residence of the head of state. The United Nations Security Council confirms its support for Hadi, "legitimate" authority in the country.

Sanaa (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Yemen is going through a "critical" phase in its history and "the future of the nation" could be decided in the coming hours, according to the leader of the Shiite rebels Abdel Malek al-Houthi.  The rebelleader accuses President Mansour Hadi Abdrabbuh and government authorities of putting their own interests before the welfare of the people of Yemen. Previously the Houthi rebels had taken control of the residence of the head of state and launched a grenade attack on the private residence of the President, with the aim of overthrowing the government in power. The UN Security Council condemned the raid and confirmed its support for President Hadi.

Addressing the nation, Houthi laid the blame on the shoulders of the political leadership in Sanaa, guilty of having spread "corruption and tyranny". "The nation - he adds - has started moving towards a tragic situation and complete collapse. The situation has worsened on all fronts - political, economic and security - on a large scale".

The head of the Shiite rebel movement also accuses the government of encouraging the spread of al-Qaeda in Yemen, a country considered strategic by the United States in the fight against Islamic terrorist movements. " They helped them to grow in all provinces- Houthi claimed- and the president refused to order the army to wage war against them".

Houthi rebels, who belong to the minority Zaidi Shia community, have staged periodic uprisings since 2004 to win greater autonomy for Saada province, their northern heartland.They consolidated control over Saada during the 2011 uprising and since July have inflicted defeats on tribal and militia groups backed by Islah, in neighbouring Amran province.Last September they invaded the capital, without attacking the President and Government buildings.

The heavy bombing yesterday came just 24 hours after the agreement to a ceasefire reached by the Houthi rebels and the presidential guards; a fragile truce that had little possibility of lasting, as the country plunges deeper into chaos. In a statement signed by all 15 Member States, the United Nations Security Council has confirmed that President Hadi is "the legitimate authority" to lead the country and calls on all parties and political actors in Yemen" to stand with him and the government to "keep the country on track to stability and security".

Since the fall of the executive led by Saleh after 33 years in 2012, members of the national government tried to counter the growing presence of al Qaeda in Yemen, often with the help of attacks by US drones. In November 2014 a new government was formed, which is trying to calm tensions in national politics. In a Middle Eastern context marked by violence and outbreaks of war, the stability of Yemen remains a priority for Washington and the Arab countries, given its proximity to Saudi Arabia and the presence of maritime trade routes (through the Gulf of Aden) of strategic importance .


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