UN’s Envoy to Yemen Stepping Down

yemen The United Nations envoy to Yemen is leaving his post after spending four years trying to help the country carry out a peaceful transition plan that stalled as the situation unraveled into a political crisis and violent conflict.

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Wednesday that envoy Jamal Benomar “expressed interest in moving on to another assignment.”

“A successor shall be named in due course,” the statement said. “Until that time and beyond, the United Nations will continue to spare no efforts to relaunch the peace process in order to get the political transition back on track.”

U.N. diplomats said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries expressed dissatisfaction with Benomar’s efforts in peace talks that have so far failed to halt the fighting between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the backers of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution earlier this week calling on all parties in Yemen to “resume and accelerate” inclusive peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch urged the countries involved in the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen to investigate the bombings that struck a dairy factory in Hodeida two weeks ago, killing at least 31 civilians.

The group said the airstrikes “may have been indiscriminate or disproportionate” attacks by the pro-government coalition, while also saying that Houthi fighters may have endangered civilians by operating an air base close to the site.



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