Security Council calls on Yemeni parties to ensure political transition stays on track
A new Government of National Unity was sworn in earlier this month in Yemen after warring factions signed an agreement in November on a transitional settlement under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to hand over power to Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi.
Yesterday, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Yemen, Jamal Benomar, reported that the process is moving forward and the agreement is being implemented, with the Government already having taken action to restore peace and stability.
The Council, in a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member body for this month, stated that the political agreement should be implemented in “a transparent and timely manner, and in a spirit of inclusion and reconciliation.”
The agreement followed months of deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr. Saleh and his regime, part of the so-called Arab Spring movement that has swept the Middle East and North Africa this year.
The Council expected the parties “to continue to honour the timetable set out in the agreement, including the presidential elections on 21 February, the national dialogue, the constitutional review and the programme of reforms to tackle the profound security, humanitarian, and economic challenges that Yemen faces,” the statement added.
It also urged all parties to reject violence, and reiterated that all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable.
In addition, the Council emphasized the need for unimpeded humanitarian access to address the growing crisis in the country, where UN relief officials say large segments of the population are enduring chronic deprivation exacerbated by the breakdown of the delivery of essential social services as a result of civil unrest and widespread violence.