Thousands of Yemenis have rallied in the country’s southern province of Taiz, calling on the Yemeni government to liberate the city from the Houthi group, Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.
The demonstration was said to have been organised by a non-governmental organisation, Families of Martyrs.
The protestors called on the Yemeni government “to confront the Houthis and recapture Taiz city.”
In an official statement, the association called on the Yemeni authorities and the Saudi-led Arab coalition “to support the liberation of Taiz from the Houthis” and to confront what the group described as the “Persian ambitions in Yemen”.
The statement also condemned what it described as “the criminal acts committed by wanted security personnel in Taiz,” calling on the Yemeni authorities to hold them accountable.
On Sunday, four civilians were killed and six others were injured during clashes between armed groups in Taiz. Later, 13 non-governmental organisations called on the security forces “to protect civilians in the southern governorate of Taiz”.
Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthi overran most of the country, including the capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also funding southern separatist forces called the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict. The civil war has pushed millions to the brink of famine and starvation, with 80 per cent of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN has said Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.