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    Yemeni nationals demonstrate in London in support of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. March 8, 2018

    'Did Houthis Give Us Flowers? No, They Killed Kids': UK Yemeni Tells Sputnik

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    A group of Yemeni nationals demonstrated outside the Houses of Parliament on March 8 to express gratitude to the Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for "what he has done for Yemen."

    The manifestation in central London goes in sharp contrast to anti-Saudi protests in the capital over Saudi-led military operation in Yemen, since the beginning of Mohammed bin Salman's state visit in Britain.

    READ MORE: Saudi Crown Prince's Visit to UK Met With Protests (PHOTO, VIDEO) 

    One of the demonstrators, Salem Mohhamed Ali, told Sputnik he has family and friends in Yemen, who have suffered due to activities by the Houthi rebels.

    "We lost members of our families because of the damage done by rebels. They took power by force, they've never been elected. They got access to weapons and took over, killing loads of people all the way from the north to the south of the country. Our people — my friends and their families — were fighting to protect themselves and they lost their lives. Saudi Arabia and the UAE interfered and helped us in the south and we kicked the Houthis out and now about 70% of Yemen is under the government that was actually elected."

    The conflict in Yemen has its roots in 2012, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi came to power and has since then faced opposition from the Houthi movement, who took over the capital Sanaa in 2015. 

    Yemeni nationals demonstrate in London in support of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. March 8, 2018
    © Sputnik / Evgenia Filimianova
    Yemeni nationals demonstrate in London in support of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. March 8, 2018

    "They [Houthi rebels] came, they destroyed, they killed kids and did a lot of damage. They are the ones causing the war from day one. Did the Houthis come and give us flowers? No, they have been killing our families and friends. Because there is no security or stability in Yemen, people are suffering and all international organizations are unable to do their work in this war zone," Mr. Salem Mohhamed Ali told Sputnik.

    The attempt to unseat Houthis from Sanaa and restore Mr. Hadi's government by Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab has been previously criticized by the United Nations and its Human Rights Office for causing extensive civilian casualties inflicted by the Saudi-led coalition's air attacks. 

    Human rights organizations have decried the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict and stressed that "all the parties to this conflict have committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including war crimes." 

    Britian's role in supporting the Saudi-led coalition through continuing arms sales has consistently come under fire from anti-war activists, and in early 2018 campaigners called on the British PM Theresa May to cancel bin Salman's state visit. 

    However, on March 7 the crown prince arrived in London for his three-day state visit and on Thursday is meant to meet with Mrs. May at her country residence in Buckinghamshire, where she is expected to press him on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Related:

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    Saudi Crown Prince’s Visit to UK Met with Protests (PHOTO, VIDEO)
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    state visit, demonstration, conflict, Houthi militants, Mohammed bin Salman, Theresa May, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, London
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