Houthi supporters protest in Sanaa
Soldiers loyal to the Shi'ite Houthi group shout slogans during an anti-government rally in Sana'aReuters

Yemen's President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi has named former oil minister Khaled Bahah as the country's new prime minister.

Yemen's previous prime minister, Mohammed Basindwa, stepped down on 21 September. Basindwa had been heavily criticised for the government's failings in preventing the Houthis, a Shi'ite rebel group, from seizing the Yemeni city of Sana'a.

Bahah hails from Hadhramout, south Yemen and studied at the University of Pune.

The 58-year-old leaves his job as permanent representative to the United Nations. He had previously held the position of oil minister for four months and served as the Yemeni ambassador to Canada.

Bahah also supported the 2011 revolution, which led to the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It is hoped that Bahah will be a unifying figure at a time of deep division within the country. The Houthis have already welcomed the decision to appoint Bahah.

Abdelmalek al-Ejri, a member of the Houthi political bureau, said: "We believe Bahah is the right person. His appointment will help the country overcome the difficulties it is going through."

It was initially thought that Hadi's office director, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, was going to be the new prime minister but his nomination was rejected by the Houthis last Thursday. The Houthis viewed the proposed appointment of Mubarak as being an attempt to improve relations with Washington.

The Houthis, who are mainly based in the north of the country, have been refusing to leave Sana'a until a new inclusive government has been formed.

Last week, a triple suicide bomb attack in Hadhramout left 42 civilians dead, including several children. The attack, which appears to have targeted Houthi supporters, was later claimed by Ansar al-Sharia, a terror cell affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting on Monday, focusing on the current security and political situation in Yemen.