Friday, January 27, 2012

Focus on elections, U.N. tells Yemen

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- All members of Yemeni society should focus on February presidential elections for the sake of national security, a U.N. special envoy said.
Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal last year to step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution, paving the way for a February election.
Jamal Benomar, the U.N. special adviser for Yemen, told the U.N. Security Council that all members of Yemeni society should coordinate to ensure a peaceful transition happens after the Feb. 21 election.
"As an immediate step, all efforts should now be focused on ensuring the holding of peaceful elections," he said.
A statement from the Security Council read, "The members of the Security Council reiterated that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including acts of violence, must be held accountable."
U.N. officials said they opposed the immunity deal, though U.S. State Department officials said Saleh has diplomatic privileges afforded to sitting heads of state while in the country.
Saleh is headed to the United States for medical treatment for wounds suffered during a June assassination attempt.

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