Clear message on Yemen from the Security Council
Protests, hier in the capital Sanaa
On 21 October, the United Nations Security Council called on those responsible in Yemen to end the violence and resolve the political vacuum. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed the Security Council’s “clear message”, saying it had come at just the right time, as the country was increasingly at risk of descending into chaos. “The only way out of this situation,” he said, speaking in Berlin on 22 October, “is an orderly political transition on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative.”
The Federal Foreign Minister reiterated his call for President Saleh to step aside immediately to enable a fresh start in Yemeni politics. He pledged Germany’s readiness to support the people in Yemen in the transition process.
Since the events of January 2011, a protest movement has formed among Yemen’s civil society, calling for democratic reforms and the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Supporters and opponents of President Saleh have for months been involved in violent clashes in the Yemeni capital. Large numbers of people have been killed or injured.
The mediation efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council
The Gulf Cooperation Council has been actively engaged in searching for a resolution to the crisis since April 2011. The initiative drawn up by the Gulf states aims for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power, providing for Saleh’s resignation, the formation of a transitional government, early presidential elections and the drafting of a new constitution, followed by parliamentary elections. To date, Yemen’s President has repeatedly refused to put his name to the proposal.
Germany campaigned early on for the UN Security Council to address the situation in Yemen and co sponsored Resolution 2014. The resolution is a condemnation of human rights violations by the Yemeni authorities and others, and it calls for an immediate end to the violence. The Security Council also urges the Yemeni leadership to sign and implement the initiative proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council to make a peaceful transition possible.
Yemen on the Security Council agenda
Anti-government protests in the capital, Sana’a
At Germany’s initiative, the UN Security Council has addressed the situation in Yemen several times. On 24 September, the Security Council issued a press statement in which it calls for an end to the violence and an orderly process of political transition.
A report on the human rights situation in Yemen was published on 13 September by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It urges all involved to protect civilians, defend the right to peaceful protest and improve the humanitarian situation. The report was discussed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 19 September.
Given the current situation, the Federal Foreign Office advises against travelling to Yemen. German nationals in Yemen are strongly urged to leave the country.
Last updated 24.10.2011