Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UK Embassy in Yemen closes, evacuates staff amid chaos

11 February 2015, 12:47

Sanaa - The British Embassy in Yemen's capital closed and evacuated its staff early on Wednesday, authorities said, the latest diplomatic post to shut down in the Arab world's poorest country amid turmoil following Shi’ite rebels seizing power.

In a statement, UK minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood also urged British citizens still in Yemen to "leave immediately". This comes as the state department confirmed it also closed the US Embassy in Sanaa and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis there and security concerns.

"The security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days," Ellwood said. "Regrettably we now judge that our embassy staff and premises are at increased risk."

Yemen has been in crisis for months, with Shi’ite Houthi rebels besieging the capital and then taking control. Earlier on Tuesday, US officials said the embassy closure would not affect counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda's Yemen branch, which America views as the world's most dangerous branch of the terror group.

The United Nations has been trying to broker talks between the Houthis and others in Yemen since the Shiite rebels dissolved parliament after earlier besieging the country's president, who later resigned while armed militants surrounded his home.

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, who leads the Shiite rebels, warned his enemies on Tuesday not to stand in his hard-line movement's way and denounced foreign governments for removing their diplomats.

"We will not accept pressures. They are of no use," al-Houthi said in speech broadcast on the rebel group's own al-Masirah satellite television network. "Whoever harms the interest of this country could see that their interests in this country are also harmed."

Al-Houthi made a series of similarly threatening but vague remarks, and offered no explanation for what specific retaliatory action he might have in mind.

The Houthis, who are traditionally based in northern Yemen bordering Saudi Arabia, swept into Sanaa in September and have seized other territory since. Many link the Houthis to regional Shiite power Iran, though the rebels deny they are backed by the Islamic Republic.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?