UN’s Ban Ki-moon: Yemen Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes

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Hundreds march toward the municipality building during a demonstration rally to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution, beginning of Yemen's uprising, on Taiz street in Ibb, Yemen on February 11, 2015. Anadolu/Adil al-Sharee.

Published Friday, February 13, 2015

Updated at 3:20 pm (GMT+2): UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the Security Council on Thursday for action to halt Yemen's slide toward anarchy, warning the country was "collapsing before our eyes."

The UN chief was reporting to the 15-member council following his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for talks that he said focused on "preventing civil war in Yemen."

"Let me be clear: Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch," Ban told the council.

He called for President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah to be "granted freedom of movement" following the power grab by the Houthis which has left them under de facto house arrest.

Ban at the weekend called for Hadi to be fully restored as president, following talks with King Salman in Saudi Arabia, which has described the Houthi power grab as a coup.

Yemen, a key US ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, has been in turmoil since the Houthis seized Sanaa in September and ousted the government.

UN special envoy Jamal Benomar warned that Yemen was "at a crossroad."

"Either the country will descend into civil war and disintegration, or the country will find a way to put the transition back on track," Benomar told the council by video link from Sanaa.

Benomar has been leading UN efforts to broker a deal that would push the Houthis to step back from their power grab and restore some measure of stability in the impoverished Arab country.

Following behind-closed door consultations, Britain said it would be working with Jordan, the country currently holding the presidency of the Security Council, on a resolution that would outline the Council's stance on Yemen.

"There was a lot of support for the idea that the council should issue a strong united message," said British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

"We are planning to take that forward with Jordan and will be looking for a resolution in the next few days."

Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month's presidency of the council, said a resolution might be the best way "to help with the continuation of the political transition."

The council last week threatened to "take further steps" if negotiations to end the crisis failed, in a veiled reference to possible sanctions.

The United States, Britain and France on Wednesday rushed to close their embassies over security fears, with US staff destroying top-secret documents and sensitive equipment before pulling out.

On Wednesday, France also called on its citizens to leave Yemen “as fast as possible” and said it would soon close its embassy over mounting security fears in the country.

On Thursday, Netherlands announced it was temporarily shutting down its embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa because of political tensions and risks of violence.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia has also suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff due to the "deteriorating security " in the capital Sanaa.

Meanwhile, Yemeni journalists and activists denounced the Houthis takeover and crackdown on freedom of expression.

On Friday, a Yemeni information analyst Hisham al-Omeirsy wrote on his Twitter account that he had received threatening message due to his controversial tweets.

Yemen’s crisis has raised fears of a collapse of authority in the country, a key US ally that has allowed Washington to carry out a longstanding drone war against the country's powerful al-Qaeda branch.

The Houthis seized control of Sanaa in September and have since been tightening their grip on the capital and expanding their territory.

On February 6, they dissolved parliament and declared a "presidential council" headed by senior group member Mohammed Ali al-Houthi.

(Reuters, AFP, Anadolu, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

That Banki Wanki is a tool of satan is to expect, he's made obvously partisan conclusions like this before. But what is Beijing doing in supporting 'a resolution might be the best way "to help with the continuation of the political transition."'..?

Is that because of a general distaste towards muslims since Beijing has its own "troubles" in its far west? It doesn't otherwise make any sence to me.

What the USraeli stooge feared is of course the collapse of the US/Saudi occupied Yemen.

The prospect of not being able to kill woman and children by drones from Yemen must be a terrible experience. Another government could very possibly restore it´s good ties to Russia, BRICS and the rest of the free world.

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