UN calls for orderly political transition in Yemen
The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday to call on Yemen to agree to a political transition in order to end months of deadly violence between the government and pro-democracy protestors, DPA reported.
The council adopted a German-led resolution calling for all Yemeni parties to sign and implement as soon as possible a settlement agreement proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council for "an inclusive, orderly, and Yemeni-led process of political transition."
The resolution said some opposition parties and the General People's Congress have signed the agreement, committing themselves to implementing a political settlement.
It encouraged Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, or his authorized representative, to sign the agreement and translate that commitment into action "in order to achieve a peaceful political transition of power, as stated in the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and the Presidential decree of 12 September, without further delay."
The language of the bill was a diplomatic compromise meant to get China and Russia on board, as both countries have rejected calls for a regime change. China and Russia have also opposed a resolution against Syria's regime, which has used extreme violence to put down anti-government demonstrations.
The US welcomed the resolution, saying it sent a "united and unambiguous signal to President Saleh that he must respond to the aspirations of the Yemeni people by transferring power immediately."
"Each day that passes without a political solution plunges Yemen deeper into turmoil," the White House said. "We continue to believe that only a Yemeni-led process will stop the bloodshed and allow the country to confront its serious economic, humanitarian, and security challenges."
The opposition in the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula has since January called for Saleh to step down.
The protesters, led by the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman, said that more than 500 people have been killed since the uprising erupted in March and tens of thousands others have been injured in clashes with government troops.
Karman, who appeared at UN headquarters in New York, said the resolution "is good in general" in demanding a peaceful transition. But she demanded that Saleh be prosecuted.
The council expressed in the resolution its "profound regret at the hundreds of deaths, mainly of civilians, including women and children."
The council strongly condemned the continued human rights violations by the Yemeni authorities, such as the "excessive use of force against peaceful protestors, as well as the acts of violence, use of force, and human rights abuses perpetrated by other actors."
The council stressed that "all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable."
It demanded that "all sides immediately reject the use of violence to achieve political goals."