Germany has closed its embassy in Yemen, citing security concerns after the recent takeover of the country by Houthi militia. Italy also made the move, joining the diplomatic exodus, which includes the US, UK and France.
A spokeswoman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry in Berlin said on Friday that the country’s embassy in Yemen had been temporarily closed and staff had already left owing to worries about security in the increasingly unstable Arabian Peninsula nation. All German nationals in Yemen were advised to leave.
Italy also announced that it would take those same measures on Friday. Earlier in the week, the United States, United Kingdom and France announced they were shutting their embassies for the time being.
Yemen has been the site of mass protests by supporters and opponents of the mainly Shiite Houthi movement, which has ousted the impoverished country’s Western-backed president, dissolved parliament and declared they were taking over the government. The Houthis overran the capital Sanaa in September last year.
Sunni militant group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a sworn enemy of the Houthis, is also active in Yemen.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday warned: “Yemen is collapsing before our eyes.”