Yemeni Nobel prize winnder human rights activist Tawakkol Karman called on Houthis to accept cease-fire and to participate in the political process in Yemen.

Karman exclusively talked to Anadolu Agency and delivered a message to Houthis saying ‘’I call on the Houthis to accept the cease-fire offer, to announce their readiness to give up all weapons and to withdraw from all areas within a specified period of time. Within that time period, a referendum on the new constitution, which was drafted according to the discussion at the dialogue conference, should take place.

"I call on the Houthis to transform into a political party that participates in the political sphere and stands far away from violence and the use of force. 
We hope they can do that in order to avoid themselves and the country the agonies (of war). ’’

 "They should understand that they and their ally, the ousted (former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah) Saleh, are the reason behind all that has happened and is still happening in Yemen in terms of war and violence. They insisted on using force, taking over cities and seizing public, military and security institutions. They further undermined the transitional process and destroyed all that was agreed upon at the national dialogue conference," Karman said.

"There is still a chance for them to give up the path to violence as there is room for everyone in our homeland and Yemen provides an abundance of national partnerships that do not exclude anyone," Nobel prize winner Karman also said.

Karman explained the steps to be taken for a possible piece in Yemen: "A simultaneous end of war and violence in Yemen within a specific period time in which armed militias shall withdraw and hand over their weapons to the state, which is the only party that has the right to bear arms."

"Also, the withdrawal of armed militias from all areas and cities and for the state to have the exclusive right to control the country's territories and to ensure  that all required measures taken to prevent the flow of weapons to anyone, other than the state, by sea, air or land," Karman said.

Houthis political party

"The militia should be transformed into a political party that participates in the political process on the basis of equality and according to the newly agreed-upon constitution. 

"In addition, there should be economic and developmental support for Yemen that will help the country integrate with other Gulf nations in the region economically in order for Yemen to return to its (high) status," she told Anadolu Agency.

"Transitional justice guarantees compensation for what wars have ruined, as well as criminal procedures to pursue those who committed crimes against humanity, in addition to retaking public funds and taking the required measures to build the national army," she said.

"This is the only way to build a sustainable democracy and peace in Yemen. Once again, we hope the Houthi brothers and their allies will respond to the voice of reason and put the interests of their homeland first, a homeland that we will build together through coexistence and partnership, not through weapons and violence," Karman added.

Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have since sought to extend their influence southwards to other parts of the country.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a campaign of air strikes against Shia Houthis, who are believed to be supported by Iran.

Anadolu Agency