Tag: Lianne

Amid rising violence in Yemen Security Council calls for speedy transition of

21 October 2011Condemning human rights violations and the excessive use of force by the Yemeni authorities against peaceful protesters as well as violence by other groups, the Security Council today called on all sides to quickly implement a regional plan for an orderly transition of power. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body noted that hundreds of people – mainly civilians, including women and children – had died in months of violence between supporters and opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and demanded that the authorities immediately end attacks by security forces against civilians.It stressed that implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative, which calls for the president to transfer power to his vice-president followed by the formation of an interim government, a new constitution and elections, is “essential for an inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led process of political transition.”The Council urged all opposition groups to “commit to playing a full and constructive part in the agreement and implementation” of the initiative and refrain from violence and the use of force to achieve political aims. It called for all those responsible for violence and human rights abuses to be held accountable.“The Yemeni sides have debated the key elements for a transition settlement for quite some time,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe told reporters after adoption of the resolution.“Now is the time for Government and opposition leaders to live up to their responsibilities and reach an agreement. The resolution is clear in this regard. It calls for action without further delay.”Voicing concern over the presence in the country of the terrorist group, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and the risk of new terrorist attacks in parts of Yemen, the Council stressed its determination to deal with the threat in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.It also called on the international community to provide humanitarian aid to a country facing a worsening security, economic and humanitarian situation.Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar warned the Council that security had deteriorated “very dramatically,” with five or six provinces out of Government control, a large area in the north controlled by Al-Houthi rebels, Al-Qaida militants holding three cities and an important geographic area in the south, and Sana’a, the capital, split between rival forces. read more

Senseless cycle of violence in South Sudan must end – UN humanitarian

“I am deeply shocked by what I have seen. Innocent civilians are bearing the brunt of this brutal war,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, as he wrapped up a four-day visit to South Sudan, which earlier this month, marked the fourth anniversary of its independence amid ongoing violence and deprivation.Mr. O’Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, painted a grim picture of the situation in South Sudan, which has been wracked by instability and conflict since later December 2013.“Families have endured horrendous atrocities – including killing, abduction, and the recruitment of children into armed groups. Women and girls have been beaten, raped and set on fire,” he said, explaining that entire communities have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Many people are starving, living in swamps or in bushes, hiding in fear of their lives.“This senseless cycle of violence must stop,” he declared. During his mission, Mr. O’Brien met with humanitarian partners, Government officials and the diplomatic community, and visited communities affected by the conflict in Juba, the capital, and Unity state.The UN humanitarian chief called on the leaders of the warring factions to take responsibility for their own actions and for those who act in their name; “I call on the leadership of South Sudan to listen to their people and lay down their arms, to stop the violence, reconcile their differences and commit to peace.”According to the UN Office for the Coordination Of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Mr. O’Brien heads, the humanitarian consequences of the nearly 20-month long conflict in South Sudan are grave: Some 4.6 million people are severely food insecure, with a quarter of a million children at risk from rapidly worsening nutrition.Massive displacement continues – over two million people, half of whom are children –have fled their homes. This includes some 1.6 million people displaced inside South Sudan and almost 600,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.“Humanitarian needs are higher now than ever and we cannot wait to respond, to do even more than brave humanitarians are already delivering. I appeal to the international community to act now to avert an even greater humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan,” underscored Mr. O’Brien.The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2015 is currently only 42 per cent funded, leaving a gap of nearly $1 billion dollars, according to OCHA.The security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated steadily over the past year since political in-fighting between President Kiir and his former Vice-President, Riek Machar, and their respective factions erupted in December 2013. The hostilities subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict, resulting in reported atrocities and possible war crimes. The UN Security Council marked the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence by expressing profound disappointment in South Sudan’s leaders for putting their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people, sparking months of politically motivated violence that has left thousands dead and caused a “man-made…catastrophe.” read more