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Shiite militia sets deadline to unravel Yemen crisis

AFP , Sunday 1 Feb 2015
Houthi Fighter
A Houthi fighter in police uniform sits on the back of a truck securing the vicinity of a Houthi gathering in Sanaa February 1, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
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A Shiite militia on Sunday set a three-day deadline for political parties to resolve the power vacuum in Yemen since the president and prime minister offered to resign last month.

The Houthis and their allies urged parties "to reach a solution and fill the vacuum" within three days or "the revolutionary leadership" would "take care of the situation of the state".

No measures were specified.

The deadline was set in a statement issued at the end of a three-day meeting in a Sanaa sports hall attended by the party of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh but boycotted by Yemen's other major political movements.

The announcement was loudly applauded by thousands who took part in the forum, including tribal chiefs and officers in military uniform.

The militia, which overran Sanaa in September, seized the presidential palace and key government buildings on January 20, plunging the country deeper into crisis and prompting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his premier to tender their resignations.

Opponents have staged demonstrations against the Huthis in several cities under the slogan: "Revolt until the overthrow of the coup" forces.

UN envoy Jamel Benomar has said that Hadi and his cabinet are effectively under house arrest, warning that violence could erupt at any time.

The crisis has raised fears that impoverished Yemen, which lies next to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, could become a failed stated.

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