The UN Security Council on Sunday held an emergency meeting, reiterating its support for Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi while agreeing on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-endorsed political transition process, in the wake of the deadly attacks in the strife-torn Yemen.
Before Ambassador Francois Delattre of France, this month’s president of the 15-member panel, read out a Presidential Statement, backing the Yemeni government and calling for negotiations, at the unusual Sunday meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Jamal Benomar briefed the council via teleconference from Doha, capital of Qatar, where he is mediating talks among conflict factions.
Yemen’s Ambassador Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany and Ambassador Alya Said al-Thani of Qatar, representing the GCC, expressed their concerns.
“The Security Council supports the legitimacy of the President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and calls upon all parties and member states to refrain from taking any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, and the legitimacy of the President of Yemen,” said the presidential statement.
After the statement was read in an open meeting, council members went into private consultations on Yemen.
“Events of recent weeks and days seem to be leading Yemen farther away from a peaceful settlement and towards the edge of civil war,” Benomar said, explaining that the rebel Houthis reject Hadi as “the legitimate leader of Yemen.”
“There is a prevailing sense among Yemenis that the situation is on a rapid downward spiral,” he said. “Many are also concerned that the conflict is taking on worrying sectarian tones and deepening north-south division. Fears exist that Al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) will exploit the current instability to cause further chaos.”
Referring to two mosque bombings Friday that killed more than 135 people and wounded hundreds more, Benomar said “emotions are running extremely high and unless a solution can be found in the coming days the country will slide into further violent conflict and fragmentation.”
The special representative said he has been “engaged” with all sides and called for restraint in an attempt to “de-escalate the situation.”
He said neither the rebels nor the government would be able to manage the beleaguered nation.
“Either side that would want to push the country in either direction would be inviting a protracted conflict in the vein of an Iraq, Libya, Syria combined scenario,” he said. “Peaceful dialogue is the only option that we have.”
Yemen’s ambassador expressed gratitude and asked “every representative of friendly states .. to adopt urgent measures to stem aggression and violence,” because “the entire Yemeni population deplores and rejects that (Sept. 21, 2014) coup which fuels civil war and sectarian in-fights.”
He called for compliance with previous council resolutions on the withdrawal of “all armed elements as well as imposed committees from government ministries and institutions,” Yemeni cities and returning weaponry “plundered and seized from the armed forces units and security camps to the military institution.”
Alyemany also sought continuance of negotiations under the GCC- sponsored, UN-mediated accords and “appealed to representatives of friendly states .. to fulfill their obligations provided in the UN Charter to adopt urgent measures to stem the logic of aggression and violence which undermines the legitimate authority.”
“Partitioning Yemen, bombarding its security and settlements since the criminal actions undertaken by Houthi militias and their allies threaten peace and security in Yemen as well as international peace and security and regional security,” he said.
The Qatari ambassador, on behalf of the GCC, described recent events in Yemen as “dangerous developments” and expressed the regional organization’s “full support of the sovereignty, independence, and integrity of Yemen and the legitimacy of the president.”
“We reject all the unilateral measures that the Houthi group continues to take,” she said. “We also reiterate how the GCC is keen to maintain the security and stability of Yemen and the holding onto of its legitimacy.”
“We hope that Yemen is not going to become headquarters for terrorist organizations,” said al-Thani. Enditem