Briefing on Yemen
Tomorrow morning (7 March) Council members are scheduled to be briefed in consultations on the situation in Yemen by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar. This briefing had originally been scheduled for 28 February, but was postponed as Benomar had stayed on in Yemen following the presidential elections on 21 February.
Although Council members did not meet on Yemen in February, they issued a press statement (SC/10553) on 22 February acknowledging the significance of the political transition through the presidential elections and encouraging a fully inclusive national dialogue, constitutional review and a programme of reforms. (Former Vice-President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi was the only candidate in the election, which was a key step in the political transition plan based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative that was signed by then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in November 2011.)
Benomar will update the Council on developments in Yemen since his last briefing to the Council on 25 January. Council members are likely to be concerned about the recent deterioration in the security situation. Media reports are citing 185 soldiers dead following recent clashes with militants in the southern province of Abyan. While some reports indicate the militants are affiliated with Al-Qaeda, other reports suggest that they could have links with Saleh.
There is also likely to be interest in hearing more about Hadi’s plans for extending national dialogue to include all political parties and his proposals for constitutional reform and the restructuring of the armed forces as called for under the GCC initiative.
Members are aware that there is likely to be strong resistance to reforms because the elections were boycotted by the Shiite Houthis in the north and the separatist Southern Movement. In addition, many members of the popular resistance movement protesting on the streets throughout Yemen are not supportive of the GCC initiative.