Thursday, July 7, 2011

UN warns about situation in Yemen

Anti-government protesters in Sana'a

Source: Press TV

A UN fact-finding mission visiting Yemen has warned of collective punishment against civilians in the country during the anti-regime protests.

"We remind everyone… that civilians should not fall as victims of collective punishment," the mission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The mission also called on the international community to quickly provide humanitarian aid to the Arab state, AFP reported.

Over the past months, people in Yemen have been protesting against more than three-decade rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Security forces have clamped down heavily on the protesters.

"Officials must realize that with such actions, they are violating international laws and will thus be held accountable after Yemen passes this phase. We urge them to stop these acts," the statement said.

The crisis has led to shortages in electricity, water, food and fuel, amid charges that Republican Guard troops led by Saleh's son Ahmed are preventing supplies from entering the capital Sana'a.

On June 3, Saleh was seriously injured in a rocket attack on his compound in Sana'a and travelled to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment.

"The absence of security, the spread of outlaws, obstacles preventing free movement, and the many outcomes of oil and power shortages have greatly influenced the economy and means of transporting food from cities to countryside," according to the statement.

"It has also affected education and medical services ... and has caused inflation as well as an increase in unemployment. It has also created an economy which depends on the black market," it said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sent the mission to Yemen for a nine-day visit.

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