Security forces fire tear gas at a protest in support of Yemen's western-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Taiz. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Supporters of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi held a demonstration in the south-western city of Taiz on Thursday (March 5). Security forces fired shots into the sky and fired tear gas as the protest took place in the city, which is 177km (100 miles) from the port city of Aden where Hadi has re-established his presidency. Last month, Hadi fled house arrest imposed by the Houthi clan who have seized the capital Sanaa and are now de facto in control of the country. Soon after Hadi fled to Aden, the United Nations announced it would mediate a dialogue between the two sides, warning that Yemen was sliding towards civil war. Late on Wednesday (March 4), the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi militia seized the offices of a political conciliation body, hours after Hadi refused U.N.-brokered talks with the group unless they withdraw from Sanaa. Yemen's National Dialogue once played a key role in the country's attempt to move to democracy after a 2011 uprising toppled long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh and Hadi took over in a Gulf-brokered power transfer. Hampered by Yemen's intricate patchwork of political, religious and tribal allegiances, the initiative failed, but the takeover of its headquarters by the Houthis comes at a sensitive time. The U.N. talks to resolve the deadlock have only just begun, and Hadi has already signaled that he will not negotiate unless the Houthis vacate the capital. On Wednesday, he rejected two proposals put to him for solving the crisis, both of which would have preserved his title as president, participants in a meeting with the U.N.'s Jamal Benomar told Reuters. Meanwhile, most of Yemen has been left without state services or authority, and deadly violence is a daily occurrence as Houthis, state security forces, tribesmen, southern separatists and al Qaeda militants clash with each other.