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Report of the Secretary-General on Yemen pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2014 (2011) and Resolution 2051 (2012)

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Mr. President,

1. Yemen has just witnessed a historic milestone on the 23rd of November, marking
one year since the signing of its peace and transition Agreement. Secretary-General
Ban Ki-Moon was there in person to commemorate this achievement, assuring
Yemenis of the United Nations’ full support for their peaceful transition. During the
months preceding, most would have believed such an agreement unimaginable.
Indeed, during this period, I have seen in Yemen a nation in turmoil and a state on
the verge of collapse.

2. I have seen the capital city, Sana’a, divided and under artillery fire, making life for
the civilian population unbearable. I have seen, and been among, the demonstrators
calling for change, as they camped out in tents on the streets and squares of the
capital and other major cities for months. I have been to the North of the country,
where armed conflict has persisted and armed clashes still occur. And I have been in
the South, where the future unity of the country has been put into question. Most
Yemenis during this period lived in darkness, and suffered from shortages in cooking
fuel and a scarcity of basic food supplies. Moreover, we all observed with increasing
alarm how Al Qaeda managed to expand its influence, gaining at one time control
over significant swathes of territory in the South. Conflict and insecurity prevailed,
and there was a real threat that the situation would degenerate into a full-scale civil
war.

Mr. President,
3. During this period of protracted stalemate, the Secretary-General took the
initiative to utilize his good offices to help resolve the deadlock, when the GCC
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Initiative remained unimplemented. In the end, after six intensive trips to Yemen, we
managed a way forward, building on Security Council resolution 2014 adopted in
October, which called for a political settlement, and the tremendous efforts of the
GCC. The Transition Agreement (which we named the Implementation Mechanism of
the GCC Initiative) signed in November last year, engaged the former regime and
opposition in a clear process for transition to good democratic governance. This
Agreement went far beyond simply replacing one individual or governing party with
another.

4. Rather than resigning, the President Saleh agreed to transfer his powers to his
deputy, and to make way for early presidential elections. All sides agreed to support
a consensus candidate who commanded the trust and respect of all. A government
of national unity would exercise power during a two-year transition phase, during
which the military and security forces would be restructured under a unified
command, a national dialogue conference would be held, feeding into a constitution making
process to be approved by referendum, and finally a fresh set of elections set
for February 2014.

5. We made sure the following elements were included in the Agreement:
A path for fundamental reforms in the practice of governance and
redress for the wrongs of the past;
Recognition of the role of the youth, and a clear path for their
participation in the transition and the realization of their aspirations;
A focus on political inclusion – giving an opportunity for the people of
Yemen to shape their country’s future and establish a new
constitutional order;
And full representation of women throughout the entirety of the
process.

6. Through this framework, the handover of power to a Government of National
Unity has occurred successfully. In February, the second phase of the Transition was
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ushered in when President Hadi was elected with overwhelming numbers, in a poll
that was at the same time a kind of referendum on the November agreement and on
the transition as such.

Mr. President,
7. Now, one year in, an air of normality has taken hold in most parts of the country.
I commend President Hadi for his leadership and I also commend the efforts made by
the Government under Prime Minister Basendwa that has allowed the country to
move forward. The fight for control of the cities by rival militaries has ended, with
freedom of movement being restored throughout major urban centres. However, we
cannot shy away from the reality that the road ahead remains long and arduous as
Yemen continues to face grave challenges on multiple fronts.

8. First, there is the difficult issue of military restructuring. The armed forces
remain divided between two sides. One camp, the powerful Republican Guards, led
by the former President’s son, and the other, the 1st Armoured Division, led by
General Ali Mohsen, who broke from the regime during last year’s uprising.
Corruption remains widespread throughout the institution. A system of patronage
favours loyalty to military leaders and not the State. Some top military leaders are
notoriously engaged in business and politics. Army commanders are able to engage
in murky business dealings, smuggling subsidized fuel, and inflating the numbers of
those in service, pocketing the excess income from these ghost positions. President
Hadi has taken initial and courageous steps to address military reform. However, the
formidable task of integrating the military and security forces under one command
will remain a serious challenge during the transition, and will require systemic
institutional reform.

9. State authority remained limited in parts of the country. Clashes between the
Houthis and Salafists and tribal groups associated with the Islah party have left
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dozens of people dead in the North. The country remains awash with arms with new
shipments still reportedly coming in.
10. Terrorism remains a serious threat. In June, government forces under President
Hadi’s leadership were able to dislodge Al Qaeda elements from areas that had fallen
under its control. However, this has led AQAP to desert the open field and instead,
disperse and infiltrate major cities. The continuous spate of terrorist attacks against
government targets in Sana’a is evidence of this development, including last week’s
abhorrent killing of a Saudi military attaché.

11. In terms of governance, one year into the transition, it is clear that the
honeymoon period is over. Yemenis now expect the government to deliver – to
provide better security for the nation and basic social services. Coalition
governments are, however, often the product of unhappy relationships, bound
together in unnatural partnerships. In this case, the distrust between the two
principal political blocks constituting the Government of National Unity has never
dissipated and remains entrenched. Disputes over civil service appointments are just
one example of the issues polarizing the two sides: the GPC feels it is being unfairly
targeted for removal while the former opposition – now in the government –
complain of insufficient representation and remain adamant in seeking
appointments for key positions.

12. While both sides signed on to take part in a Government of National Unity, their
war continues through the media. Partisan reporting by media outlets owned by
each side continues to inflame an already acrimonious relationship. Former President
Saleh remains active as the leader of the GPC party – and often acts as the leader of
the opposition, demonizing the Government of National Unity – despite it being halfcomposed
of his own party and allies. What many politicians fail to realize is that the
political landscape is changing, with prospects for shifting alliances. They continue to
view the situation with a perspective locked in the past and in static alliances, rather
than looking ahead to new realignments.
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13. Unrest in the South has its roots in the marginalization and discrimination of
Southerners since unification and their perceived lack of access to resources and
opportunities. Long standing grievances have left many in the South feeling
excluded. Since 2007, Southerners have mobilized to demand equal access to
employment and government services, land reform, and a degree of local autonomy.
This movement known as the Hiraak, began as a rights-based movement demanding
equality under the rule of law. Years of empty promises have deepened resentments
and radicalized some in the movement toward a maximalist agenda for a separate
state.

14. In my outreach to Hiraak leaders in Aden and Cairo, I explained that the
National Dialogue provides an opportunity to address the Southern question through
dialogue and compromise and in accordance with Security Council resolutions. I
urged them to renounce violence and to participate in the process with no preconditions.
I also urged the government to take confidence-building measures to
address the grievances of Southerners – of those who were unjustly dismissed from
the civil service and the military in the aftermath of the 1994 war, and of those
whose land and other properties were confiscated. Concrete progress with regard to
these matters would provide an enabling environment for a constructive start to the
national dialogue.

15. Yemen’s humanitarian situation remains in acute crisis. Our humanitarian
colleagues tell us that nearly half the population of Yemen are food insecure – an
alarming number living on the edge of starvation. A quarter of a million children are
severely malnourished and at risk of dying without proper nutrition interventions.
Access to clean water eludes more than half the population, and basic health care
remains an aspiration for nearly a quarter of the population. Struggling to provide
basic services, Yemen is nonetheless one of the most generous refugee hosting
countries with over 230,000 refugees and half a million internally displaced. The
2012 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan which requires $585 billion (US) dollars is
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only 57 per cent funded, leaving a funding gap of more than a quarter of a billion
dollars.

16. On the economic front, there are modest signs of progress. Inflation is
decreasing and the decline in economic activity has slowed. The exchange rate that
had fluctuated during 2011 has now stabilized, reaching the same levels as before
the crisis. The momentum of Yemen’s transition and recovery must be sustained with
strong support from the international community, and especially its regional
partners. Through meetings in Riyadh and in New York, Yemen’s partners have
confirmed their commitment in over $7.5 billion of pledges to help Yemen with its
economic recovery. Continuous engagement of Yemen’s development partners,
together with the establishment of a new intra-governmental coordinating body to
support implementation of the pledges, will help channel funds effectively so that
Yemenis can start seeing an improvement in their daily lives.

Mr. President,
17. The upcoming National Dialogue provides an opportunity for Yemenis to build a
future that meets the aspirations of all. In this regard, the Preparatory Committee
for the National Dialogue, as an all inclusive body, may be the crucible for the new
Yemen. My team and I spent many long days and hours working with the Committee.
It has been a great inspiration to see youth, women, civil society, and representatives
of political parties, representatives from the South and the Houthis participating
constructively within the Committee. Indeed, the diverse composition and
deliberative work of the Committee – often in good spirit resulting from the genuine
commitment of the participants – has helped them reach decisions based on
consensus and compromise.

18. A few days ago, the Committee became deadlocked over the issue of
representation and allocation of seats at the Conference. At their request, I put
forward ideas to help the national dialogue process move forward, while stressing
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that there is no one ideal formula that would satisfy all stakeholders. I am pleased
that, with this last contentious issue resolved, the long hours and efforts of the
Committee are coming to a conclusion. The fruits of their efforts will soon deliver a
final report and other elements finalizing the rules and structure of the Conference.
Fully consistent with UN standards, we have been successful in supporting the
demands of local women’s groups for a representation of at least 30 per cent of
women in the National Dialogue.

19. We have been actively supporting preparations for the national dialogue
through initial funding from the UN peace-building fund. We have now established a
multi-donor trust fund to channel international support for the process in a
coordinated fashion and encourage all donors to contribute, to ensure the timely
launch of an effective national dialogue conference. Our assistance will continue
through the period of the constitution-making process and the holding of elections.
20. I am pleased to report that a new electoral commission has been established by
decree. In order to keep within the transition timeline, it will be critical for the new
commission to focus on creating a new voter registry. The road towards fresh
elections may seem long and difficult.

Mr. President,
21. For the country to move forward, a true reckoning of past injustices and steps
to heal old wounds are essential. There is a strong sense amongst Yemenis that the
transition will remain in suspension in the absence of reconciliation efforts, including
restitution or compensation for victims as well as guarantees against recurrence and
an end to impunity. With these aims in mind, we hope that an amended draft Law on
Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation will be adopted by consensus.
22. The transition is threatened by those who have still not understood that change
must now occur. Spoilers of all sorts have not given up. They are keen to impede this
transition and to profit from instability. In the past few days, Yemenis have once
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again been left in darkness with no electricity. Oil and gas pipelines continue to be
attacked, causing the Yemeni treasury to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in
revenue. Many Yemenis expect the Security Council to keep a careful watch on the
spoilers’ actions and to hold them to account.

Mr. President,
23. We will continue to work closely with members of the Security Council, the
GCC, the European Union and other international partners, and in particular, the
active diplomatic community in Sana’a, to support Yemen’s transition and to help
keep it on track within the agreed timeline. We count on the continued consensus in
the Security Council that has played a crucial role in supporting a peaceful transition
in Yemen.

24. We are all determined to continue supporting a transition that is unique in the
region, and one that is based on a clear roadmap. It is a transition that has the
overwhelming endorsement of the population. It is a transition that offers the
opportunity for meaningful participation of all, men, women and youth. And it is a
transition that offers a genuine perspective towards unlocking the potential that we
all see in Yemen. Yet, while there are tremendous challenges, I am convinced that
Yemen has the potential to be a prosperous country, a country that can become
stable, and a country that is governed according to the genuine will and aspirations
of its population.

25. Change in the region has all too often been borne by sacrifices that should not
have been necessary, and that we cannot ignore. Yemenis have shown us, however,
that the time of the gun as a tool to answer the legitimate aspirations of citizens has
passed, and that a peaceful transformation can emerge from the ashes of conflict. As
the Secretary-General observed during his visit to the country two weeks ago,
Yemeni men and women have armed themselves instead with the principles of
wisdom, mutual respect and peaceful interaction, and have thus avoided the abyss of
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To read this report in Arabic go to this link:

لقراءة التقرير بالعربيه  انقر الرابط:

    Yemen_December Security Council Report_Arabic

Written by shatha

December 5, 2012 at 5:16 am

Posted in Yemen's news

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