Egyptian diplomats have returned from Sanaa, Yemen Monday morning following increasing security unrest in the capital, state run news agency MENA reported. The Egyptians embassy was closed afterwards.
Several other embassies have shut down their operations in Yemen, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan and France, earlier this month.
Yemen has been witnessing increasing turmoil following the power grab of Shi’a rebel troops led by Abdul Malik Al-Houthi in the north.
The group took over much of the Yemeni cities and entered the capital Sanaa in September 2014, amid clashes with the state forces, which left hundreds dead, including civilians.
In February, the Houthis declared a new constitutional draft. Following the resignation of Yemeni president Mansour Abd Rabou Hadi, along with his cabinet, the declaration announced the formation of a new interim government.
On Sunday, the besieged president was released by the Houthis, for negotiation attempts. However, Hadi claimed he is still president and is still ruling from the south, amid supportive protests in the south.
Hadi was also reportedly meeting with officials in Hadhramaut, south Yemen.
Sahar Ali, a Yemeni citizen living in Sanaa, told Daily News Egypt: “It’s like a boring movie, nothing seems realistic at all, the people now are becoming more aware of what is going on and refuse to discuss politics like before.”
“What is really annoying is the media portrayal of Yemen as a dangerous terroristic spot full of weapons, when weapons are mostly used to show off; in fact if anyone tries to use weapons they will face severe tribal punishments,” she added.
As ships en route between the GCC and the Mediterranean pass through Yemen’s coastal waters, the country’s security status is crucial for several countries, especially oil-importing ones. However, it has been witnessing several waves of conflict and division attempts between the north and the south.
In 2011, Yemen witnessed mass protests that toppled its president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled for 33 years, and who handed power over to his then-vice president Hadi.
According to Ali, in the wake of those protests the people were divided between supporters and opponents for Hadi while the political parties, along with other entities in the political arena, were only seeking what is best for their interest.
Among those groups are Houthis. They took advantage of the government’s bad decisions, such as lifting the energy subsidies,” she said.
“People are now recognising that Al-Houthi is worse than many other politicians, while the old regime failed to handle the crisis.”