UNITED NATIONS, April 4 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's
Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Ben Omar on Thursday said that despite the
challenges ahead, Yemen remains the region's "only" example of peaceful
transition thanks to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) comprehensive roadmap.
He told reporters after his quarterly oral briefing to the Security Council
that a number of reforms have been announced but still not implemented,
"nevertheless, Yemen continues to stand as the only example in the region of a
peaceful negotiated transition that is based on a comprehensive roadmap and a
genuine national dialogue."
He said he gave the Council "generally positive news" regarding the
political transition in Yemen, describing the opening of the National Dialogue
Conference on March 18 as an "historic" moment for Yemen, where, the various
groups that were engaged only a year ago in armed clashes, are now gathering
under the same roof discussing a common future for their country.
He conceded that the time remaining until the general elections are held in
February 2014 holds "serious challenges."
Among the "serious" challenges he mentioned, was the unrest in the south
which is now attracting large numbers to the streets, adding that the calls
for the cessation have grown, after two decades of discrimination, repression
and unaddressed legitimate grievances, and that the people in the south are
wary and skeptical of promises of reform.
He said many Yemenis agree that the "resolution to the southern question
holds the key to the success of Yemen's transition," adding that "some Hirak
groups are absent from the Conference, others have joined cautiously, with the
expectation that the Conference will address their interest with honesty and
respect, including the demand by some, by some, for separation."
"I am pleased to report that many of southern leaders have reaffirmed to me
their rejection of violence and their commitment to dialogue," he said.
He strongly urged the Yemeni government to undertake "immediate"
confidence-building measures in the south to address the long-standing
grievances over illegitimate seizure of property and unjust dismissal from the
military and civil service.
On the humanitarian situation, he expressed hope that the donor countries
will follow Saudi Arabia's lead and fulfill the promises they made during the
'Friends of Yemen' meeting on March 7 in London. (end)
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