UN Security Council meets on Yemeni crisis
THE United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Yemen, where Shiite militiamen seized the presidential palace in Sanaa.
UN special envoy Jamal Benomar was to report to the council on the apparent attempt to overthrow President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, an ally in the U.S. fight against Al-Qaeda.
The meeting was requested by Britain following heavy clashes on Monday between the militia known as the Huthis and government forces in Sanaa.
Following a brief lull earlier Tuesday, Huthi gunmen seized the palace and attacked Hadi’s residence, with the president reportedly inside, meeting with visitors.
The 15-member council was considering issuing a statement following the emergency meeting that was expected to condemn the attack by the Huthis and apparent coup attempt.
Hadi’s government has been a key ally of the United States, allowing Washington to carry out repeated drone attacks on Al-Qaeda militants in its territory.
Yemen’s branch of the jihadist network, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered its most dangerous and claimed responsibility for this month’s attack in Paris on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead.
Benomar, who was to brief the council by videolink from Qatar, had been leading negotiations on forming a unity government in Yemen.
The country has been wracked by instability since an uprising forced leader Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2012.
The council in November imposed sanctions on Saleh and two allied Huthi commanders for threatening peace in the impoverished Arab country.