Consensual, Yemeni-led political process only peaceful exit to current crisis: UN envoy

Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

26 August 2014 – The United Nations envoy to Yemen today expressed concern over the high level of unrest in the country which he says is probably the most serious since the beginning of the political transition in 2011.

Briefing reporters in the capital, Sana’a, Jamal Benomar said that in recent weeks he had been in consultations with various political leaders, trying to facilitate negotiations and help reach consensus on a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

“[All parties in Yemen] should be aware that there is no exit other than through a peaceful, consensual solution, in accordance with the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which was agreed upon by all Yemenis and supported by the Security Council in its resolution 2140,” said Mr. Benomar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Yemen.

Reiterating his call for all parties to refrain from taking steps that could threaten peace, Mr. Benomar said they must reject the use of violence to achieve political goals, as stipulated in Security Council resolutions.

“If the parties really seek the higher interest of Yemen and want to avoid the worst, they must put aside partisan interests. With these factors in place, I am confident that a peaceful solution to the crisis can be reached,” he added.

Mr. Benomar, who is scheduled to brief the Security Council this Friday on the latest developments, said that he is confident the Council will continue to support with one voice peaceful change in Yemen.

“However, Yemenis should, at the same time, look to themselves to solve their problems…As I said during the events of 2011, the solution will not come from outside. It can only be Yemeni, and through a Yemeni-led political process.”

For its part, the State must be able to exercise its full authority over all its territory, he said. In addition, political and media escalation, and sectarian and regional incitement campaigns should stop. There should be serious and credible negotiations. All parties need to maintain a spirit of national partnership, good faith, and wisdom, he stated.

He also commended the work of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which “has not spared any efforts in support of the political settlement” since they launched the GCC initiative.

Yemen has recently emerged from a complex UN-backed transition, but recent months have been marked by violence and unrest in some parts of the country. In mid-July, amid what it characterized as a “serious deterioration in the security situation” due to ongoing violence in the north-west, the Security Council demanded that all armed groups disarm, withdraw and relinquish control of [the city of] Amran.

In 2011, the country was on the brink of an all-out civil war, paralyzed by a political and security cri¬sis, in a region swelling with protests against authoritarian regimes.

Mr. Benomar today said that the political settlement in Yemen, including the National Dialogue Conference, is “a unique model amongst the Arab Spring countries” in that it is supported by the international community, and is guiding similar processes in several countries.


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