Benomar: Sanctions will be talked over in closed rooms of U.N. council
He commended President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's latest decrees that included the replacement of the head of the National Security Department as well as warning those wishing to disrupt the power transfer deal that punitive action would be taken in accordance with Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter.
Benomar said the assassination attempt against Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was a gruesome, unjustifiable crime for which the perpetrators should stand trial.
He also said his current visit to Yemen is to assess the political stakeholder's implementation of U.N. Council Resolution Nos. 2014 and 2051, in addition to preparing a detailed report to be handed over to the council for discussion during a session slated to be held Sept 18. The council has been reviewing the situation in Yemen every two months as token of recognition of Yemen's influence on the international peace, according to Benomar.
In reply to the Yemen Times' question about sanctions against those attempting to derail political reconciliation, he said the sanctions would be talked over in closed rooms at the council, in accordance with paragraph 41 of Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter. The council needs to make sure prior to making a decision, he said.
Benomar said a peaceful transfer of power requires broad participation from everyone, including groups that did not take part in the Gulf initiative.
With regard to the transitional justice law, he said the Yemeni government is working to ready the law and to pass it on to the parliament so that a national reconciliation is realized; however, he affirmed the importance of accountability for every official responsible for human rights violations committed since February 2011.
He called on southerners to take part in the National Dialogue Conference and to speak loudly of their demands in the conference, saying that provocative issues should be left behind in order to lead Yemen out of its current situation and to contribute to building a new Yemen.
Benomar expected that representation would be high for the Friends of Yemen Conference planned for Sept. 27 in New York City. Hadi is also scheduled to attend.
The Friends of Yemen Conference will augment aid for the country and will help Yemen revive its economy, he said. He added that the aid would help alleviate those suffering from the current crisis, indicating that half of Yemenis live below the poverty line and suffer from malnourishment.
"The United Nations has not granted any immunity to any individual because this contradicts its principles," Benomar said.
The immunity is but a political agreement between the opposition coalition parties and the General People's Congress; they agreed on this deal, he said.
"As reservation on our part, we did not propose such a deal because it goes against the principles of the U.N."
Thabet Al-Ahmadi, a researcher and a journalist, commented on Benomar's performance, saying he is the best international politician to know Yemen and Yemenis in such a brief time. His policies have been based on his knowledge of the people and the nation, according to Al-Ahmadi, adding that Benomar appeared to deal with the political stakeholders as a sheikh while they seemed like miserable children.
"Benomar maneuvers, converses and threatens in case a particular political stakeholder raises his voice more than needed,” Al-Ahmadi said. “It is true he deals with the political stakeholders equally, yet his leftist background makes him prone to unintentionally side with the national interest.”