Tens of thousands of people protest in Sanaa for and against a rebel group that is calling on the government to step down. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Supporters of Yemen's government filled the streets of Sanaa to protest against demands by Shi'ite Muslim Houthis pressing the government to quit. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRO-GOVERNMENT PROTESTER MAHER AL-QADASI SAYING: "We took to street to support the national coalition that has been called on by the president and to oppose violence and to support national dialogue and also reject all kinds of terrorism and violence that exists around the capital Sanaa." Talks on forming a new Yemeni government collapsed last week over Houthis' demands to restore fuel subsidies cut by the President. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HOUTHI PROTESTER KHALED AL-MADANI SAYING "We took to the streets to call for our demands to be met, which are the about the fuel subsidies and to overthrow the failed, corrupt government and about the national dialogue conference ". The standoff is raising fears of instability in Yemen, a majority Sunni Muslim country of 25 million that is allied with the US and borders major oil exporter Saudi Arabia. On Friday the U.N. called on Houthis to end hostilities and warned foreign countries not to interfere by encouraging instability in the impoverished Arab state.