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On Yemen, Houthis and Amran, UNSC Issues Statement 2 Days After Briefing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 11 -- Two days after the UN's Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar briefed the Security Council about the Houthi rebels' takeover of Amran, and three days after some press in Yemen reported the Security Council had already acted, at 6 pm on July 11 there was a belated statement.

  The President of the Security Council for July, Ambassador Gasana of Rwanda, came to the Council stakeout after 6 pm.  He read an agreement to statement (below); Inner City Press asked if the "spoilers" referred to include Saleh. This was not answered, nor a question about the delay in the statement. But here IS the statement:

Security Council Press Statement on Fighting in Yemen

        The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern about the serious deterioration of the security situation in Yemen in the light of the ongoing violence in Amran. The members of the Security Council expressed their deep regret at the high number of casualties caused by the violence. 

        The members of the Security Council demanded that the Houthis, all armed groups and parties involved in the violence withdraw and relinquish control of Amran and hand over weapons and ammunition pillaged in Amran to the national authorities loyal to the government. The members of the Security Council further demanded that the all armed groups and other parties involved in the current violence disarm; and urged the existing ceasefire agreements to be swiftly implemented and asked military units to remain committed to their obligation of neutrality at the service of the State.  They encouraged all parties, in line with the GCC Initiative and National Dialogue outcomes, to take these steps and to participate peacefully in the transition. They demanded that the current turmoil should not extend to other parts of the country, including Sana’a. 

        The members of the Security Council noted with concern that spoilers continue to stoke the conflict in the north in an attempt to obstruct the political transition.  The members of the Security Council recalled resolution 2140 (2014) that introduced targeted sanctions measures against individuals or entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability in Yemen, and urged the Panel of Experts as they discharge their duties in accordance with the resolution to look into these spoilers as a matter of urgency and to present expeditiously relevant recommendations to the Committee established pursuant to the resolution 2140.   

        The members of the Security Council reminded all parties to comply with their obligations under applicable international humanitarian and human rights law, and stressed the need for all sides to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to evacuate the wounded and to ensure the delivery of assistance to all populations in need.

        The members of the Security Council expressed support to President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi as he leads the political transition and encouraged continued efforts to find a peaceful political solution to the conflict in the north based on the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. The members of the Security Council urged all parties to continue to work together to progress Yemen’s transition.  

Yemen is cited by the UN and its Security Council as one of their successes. When the government in Sana'a deported journalist Adam Baron, what did the UN do or say?

 Back on May 9, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, video here, transcript here:

Inner City Press: Yemen has deported a journalist named Adam Baron, who was described as one of the few foreign correspondents in the country, and I wanted to know if the Secretariat or Mr. Benomar has any comment on that?

Deputy Spokesman Haq: I don’t have any comment on that at this stage, no.

   Now, Yemen has rejected entry by another journalist, Tik Root.

  Meanwhile, the Yemeni government bragged of being praised by the UN, even as it is the only country, according to Under Secretary General for Management Yukio Takasu, which has been banned from voting in the General Assembly due to a failure to pay dues.

  Yemen has until May 16 to seek an exemption. But couldn't the UN use that as some leverage for free press -- if it wanted?

State media SABA on May 7 reported:

SANA'A, May 07 (Saba) - Interior Minister Abdo al-Tarib met here on Wednesday with Under Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security Kevin Kennedy.

During the meeting, al-Tarib and Kennedy discussed the possible means to enhance mutual security cooperation Yemen and the UN. The Minister underlined the Interior Ministry's adherence to strengthen the cooperation relations with the UN in the security field.

For his part, Kennedy praised the great successes achieved by the security services in cracking down on terrorists, stressing the UN's willingness to strengthen cooperation with Yemen.

So what about deporting journalists? When Inner City Press on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access asked the UN Secretariat for comment on the jailing by Ethiopia of journalists including the Zone 9 bloggers, no comment came. The UN has a big office in Addis. What of its success story in Yemen? Watch this site.


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