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Yemeni president asks UN, donors for support

Arab World Materials 27 January 2013 21:39
Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi called on the United Nations and donors to support his country's political transition, as UN Security Council members made an unprecedented visit to the capital Sana'a on Sunday.
Yemeni president asks UN, donors for support

Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi called on the United Nations and donors to support his country's political transition, as UN Security Council members made an unprecedented visit to the capital Sana'a on Sunday.

Hadi called on the Council members to regard those refusing to take part in upcoming national reconciliation talks as undermining the country's political transition, dpa reported.

Such a move could put Yemen's secessionist Southern Movement within the scope of a 2012 Security Council resolution, which threatened sanctions against obstructive forces in the poverty-stricken Arabian Peninsula country.

The Southern Movement, which seeks independence or autonomy for the former state of Southern Yemen, is the only major political force refusing to take part in the National Dialogue Conference.

Southerners have complained of marginalization and official abuses since the former southern army was defeated in a 1994 civil war.

The conference, which is expected to start in March, is a key step in Yemen's internationally backed transition process, which started with last year's handover of power to Hadi from long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Speaking at a conference marking the UN Security Council members' visit, Hadi also called on donors to fulfil their commitments to his country, saying: "The roots of Yemen's problem are of an economic nature."

The Security Council delegation, headed by the British and Moroccan representatives to the UN, was on a one-day visit to Sana'a aimed at showing support for Hadi and the country's transition process.

UN envoy on Yemen Jamal Benomar said the international community was committed to supporting Yemen's transition process.

"There will be no return to the past, to the time of chaos, corruption and monopolization of power," Benomar told the conference to loud applause.

Local media reported tight security in Sana'a, with army and security forces deployed across the city.

Motorcycles - which have been used in a series of killings of security officials in recent months - were barred from the capital for the duration of the one-day visit, independent newspaper al-Masdar reported online.

Supporters of the 2011 youth-led revolution against Saleh meanwhile took to the streets to demand that his immunity from prosecution be lifted.

Hadi, who took over from Saleh last February under an internationally backed peace deal, has been seeking to unify the divided army and achieve national reconciliation.

The presence of al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents, the collapse of government authority in much of the country and widespread poverty have all made Yemen a priority for international action, say observers.

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