Transition in Yemen "is delicate" says UN envoy

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Mr. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen, briefs the Security Council. [UN Photo/Rick Bajornas]

A clash between security forces and demonstrators in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a on Sunday shows that the transition to democracy in the country is delicate.

That's what the United Nations Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar said during a briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday.

He said only a few days ago, he witnessed the National Dialogue Conference where more than 550 delegates from all the major political groupings, including women and youth, discussed the future of their country.

Mr. Benomar said a global dialogue like this is a great achievement in a country awash with arms and a history of conflict.

"This initiative shows the commitment of the Yemeni people to choose dialogue over violence and consensus over division. Yet, as the sad incident of Sunday shows, this transition is delicate. I regret to inform the Council that a clash erupted between security forces and Ansar Allah demonstrators outside the National Security Bureau in Sana'a resulting in the death of several individuals and injuries to dozens more."

Mr. Benomar told the Security Council that despite this incident, Yemen is the only country in the region to emerge from the political upheaval, known as the Arab Spring, with a peacefully negotiated agreement.

He said this includes a clear roadmap and timeline for a broad-based democratic transition, adding that the government and people in Yemen need to be congratulated for standing by their words despite the challenges.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'27"

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