Last updated: 18 September, 2012

UN Council worries about Yemen

The UN Security Council expressed concern Tuesday over a campaign to “undermine” Yemen’s interim government and a widening humanitarian crisis in the country.

The 15-nation council discussed Yemen as tens of thousands of people staged protests in Sanaa to demand an end to immunity for ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The country has also been rocked by attacks from Al-Qaeda and other militant groups against government officials.

The Security Council and UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, expressed support for President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and concern at “ongoing attempts to undermine the transition process,” said Peter Wittig, Germany’s UN ambassador and council president for September.

The council wants a “comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue should begin without delay, in order to lay the foundations for a stable and unified Yemen,” Wittig told reporters after the meeting.

Yemen is now stricken by a “dire humanitarian situation” which now needs urgent attention, Wittig added.

On top of the political turmoil in the country since Saleh’s 33-year rule was ended, at least seven million people in the 24 million population need food aid, according to UN agencies.

A summit on Yemen is to be held on September 27 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and Wittig should be taken as a chance to “reaffirm the international community’s strong support for the transition process.”