Yemen’s Houthi rebels threaten to arrest, charge ministers

The threat came a day after Houthis ordered Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and all Cabinet members back to work, but they declined.

By (AP)

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Published: Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:57 PM

A still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police in London shows the girls going through Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey. -AP

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in support of Yemen's President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in Yemen's central town of Ibb. -Reuters

Sanaa - Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Monday threatened to arrest and try for treason the prime minister and all Cabinet members if they fail to return to work, as thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in the capital, Sanaa, to denounce the rebel power grab.

The threat came a day after Houthis ordered Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and all Cabinet members back to work, but they declined.

In January, Bahah and the ministers were placed under house arrest by the rebels who had seized Sanaa. The officials resigned en masse in a gesture of protest and the Houthis subsequently declared they have taken over the country.

The Houthi TV channel, Al Masirah, said on Monday that 17 Cabinet members agreed to resume their posts. The report could not be immediately confirmed and none of the Cabinet ministers could be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, protesters in the Yemeni capital chanted in support of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who over the weekend fled Sanaa where he had also been held under house arrest by the Houthis.

Hadi arrived in the southern port city of Aden and from there, called on the Houthis to leave the capital and for the military and security forces to rally to his side. He announced on Sunday that he is still the legitimate leader of Yemen and that all actions taken since the rebels stormed the capital Sanaa last September were illegitimate.

The Houthis swept into Sanaa last September, after battling their way from the northern Shia heartland and imposing control over at least nine provinces. Since taking over the country, the Houthis also disbanded the parliament and empowered their security arm, known as the Revolutionary Committee, to act as the country’s top decision-makers.

Also on Monday, Sunni tribesmen in control of eastern Marib province, where Yemen’s oil infrastructure is based, threatened to cut fuel supplies to Sanaa if the Houthis try to pressure them by halting the payments of their salaries from the capital.

The Marib governor, Sultan Al Arada, said in a statement that the Sunni tribes were “making all effort to avert confrontation and warfare.”

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