Houthi militants storm UAE embassy in Sanaa

Published August 18th, 2015 - 06:30 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

UAE strongly condemned the storming of the Emirati embassy by the Houthi militia in Sanaa late on Monday.

The foreign ministry demanded that Houthis vacate the embassy immediately and return it to its staff, and announced that the UAE reserves its right to bring perpetrators of the act to justice and accountability.

“This act is yet another proof that the Houthi group does not take into consideration or respect international conventions and diplomatic norms, but practices the law of jungle,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The UAE emphasised that the occupation of its embassy and evicting it of its staff will not dissuade it from its positions and supportive stand for the restoring of stability in Yemen.

“This criminal act is a flagrant violation of the norms of international law and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 that foreign embassies enjoy full diplomatic immunity. The storming of the UAE embassy is yet a violation of the General Assembly resolution 96/121 on consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions as well as diplomats and consuls which was endorsed by the General Assembly in 2014,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, two Saudi border guards were killed in an attack from Yemen by Houthis, Riyadh’s official news agency and a militia-run news site said.

Sergeants Ali Al Ghazwani and Sarwi Al Saeed were “martyred while carrying out their duty in protecting the country’s borders from rebel aggressors” on Sunday, the official SPA said, quoting a statement by the Saudi-led coalition.

They were killed in the Jazan district bordering Yemen, it added without giving details.

The militia-run Sabanews.net website reported that anti-government militia in Yemen attacked Saudi border positions on Sunday in the Aseer and Jazan regions.

They claimed firing Katyusha rockets, destroying army vehicles, and killing “several” Saudi soldiers.

The latest cross-border barrages coincide with advances since mid-July by pro-government fighters in southern Yemen, as well as in third city Taiz, seen as a gateway to the militia-held capital.

The Saudi soldiers bring the number of people killed in shelling and skirmishes on the kingdom’s side along the frontier with Yemen to more than 51 since the coalition campaign began on March 26.

Most of the casualties have been soldiers.

In Yemen, the United Nations says the war has killed nearly 4,300 people, half of them civilians.

In Yemen’s third city Taiz, heavy fighting between government loyalists and militia left more than 80 people dead in the past 24 hours, military sources said yesterday.

The bodies of 50 Al Houthis and allied troops were retrieved from the city yesterday, the sources in Taiz said, adding that 31 pro-government fighters were also killed.

Loyalist and militia forces have fought over Taiz — a key city seen as a gateway to capital Sanaa — for several days as pro-government troops press recent territorial gains after retaking much of southern Yemen from rebel fighters.

Yesterday, Yemeni authorities had to evacuate more than 140 wounded fighters from the government-run “May 22” hospital in Aden after an electricity generator exploded, sparking a fire that spread to a nearby Red Cross hospital, the city’s health chief Al Khader Laswar said.

Authorities have been struggling to restore order to Aden, which was left devastated by heavy fighting.

Aden’s central bank governor Khalid Zakaria said yesterday that it was operating again for the first time in months and that long-frozen payments of state employees’ salaries would resume.

He told reporters that during the fighting in the city the rebels had blown up one of the bank’s coffers and “confiscated” funds equal to some $600,000 (Dh2.2 million.)

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