News / Middle East

UN: Yemen Faces Challenges as Presidential Election Approaches

Margaret Besheer

With Yemen’s landmark presidential election less than a month away, the U.N.’s top advisor for that country said Wednesday the political and security situation remains fragile, but that he believes the vote will take place on time.

Jamal Benomar told reporters after privately briefing the U.N. Security Council on his eighth and latest mission to Yemen that there has been significant progress in the run-up to the February 21 election, but that serious political, economic and humanitarian challenges lie ahead.

“The political and security situation remains very fragile.  The government of national unity and the military affairs committee have made progress in removing road blocks and checkpoints.  Steps have also been taken to withdraw troops back to barracks and to send armed militias to their villages.  However, this process is far from being complete, and additional measures are needed to restore peace, stability and normalcy in the country,” Benomar said.

Benomar underscored the fragile security situation, particularly in the south of Yemen, where he said al-Qaida has expanded its reach, including recently occupying a city 170 kilometers south of the capital, Sana’a.

“This is very symbolic; it shows that the security environment is very volatile and the government is facing this big challenge now of trying to reestablish the authority of the state over a number provinces that are completely out of government control.  It is a big challenge now for the government,” Benomar said.

Yemeni authorities are also dealing with a worsening humanitarian situation, one that Benomar called “dire,” with 6.8 million people suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition on the rise.  The economic picture is bleak as well and international assistance will be required during the political transition.

The country’s out-going president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was enroute to New York for medical care on Wednesday as part of his treatment for serious burns and injuries suffered over much of his body when his palace was bombed last June during the protests that called for an end to his three-decade long rule.  

In November, he agreed to a regionally brokered deal to transfer power to his deputy and to step aside in February when the country holds elections.  There has been widespread criticism of the agreement, which includes full immunity for Mr. Saleh.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid