Houthi militants stormed the home of Yemeni activist and Nobel peace prize winner Tawakkol Karman in Sanaa yesterday, shortly after the insurgency group signed a peace agreement with the government, Karman said in a statement.
According to Karman, 12 individuals affiliated with the Houthi group broke into her home and plundered it in the immediate aftermath of signing the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement yesterday evening.
The Houthi rebellion, also known as the Shia insurgency in Yemen, is a civil war in northern Yemen. It began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Zaidi Shia sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. Most of the fighting has taken place in northwestern Yemen.
The Yemeni government has alleged that the Houthis were seeking to overthrow it and to implement Shī‘a religious law. Between 2004 and 2010, Yemen witnessed six wars between Houthis in northern Yemen and the government, leading to thousands of fatalities and injuries.
The group signed the peace agreement with the Yemeni president in the presence of UN envoy and political forces, though the Houthis refused to withdraw from the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Karman is senior member of the of Al-Islah political party, and human rights activist. She leads the group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which she co-founded in 2005. She became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising that is part of the Arab Spring uprisings. She has been called the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution” by Yemenis.
She is a co-recipient, with Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Leymah Gbowee, of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date.
She has been known for her strict opposition to militant groups, including the Houthis, which she urged to submit its arms to the state and get involved in political work, accusing it of receiving Iranian funding and seeking to drag Yemen into civil strife.