UN chief: Yemen is 'collapsing before our eyes'

Strikes hit Al-Qaeda controlled region where tribal leaders had gathered to negotiate with Al-Qaeda.

UN chief: Yemen is 'collapsing before our eyes'
World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations' special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has warned that the country is on the brink of civil war and accused all sides of contributing to the political and economic turmoil.

Yemen is slipping further into chaos as the Houthis, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim militia from the north, consolidate their grip on power after seizing the capital in September and sidelining the central government.

The fighters have been advancing into southern territories, confronting Sunni Muslim tribesmen, other groups and the local branch of al Qaeda.

"We believe the situation is very dangerous. Yemen is on the brink of civil war," Benomar said in an interview with television channels al Arabiya and al-Hadath late on Wednesday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council today, warning: "Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch.

"Yemen is at a crossroad - either the country would descend into civil war and disintegration or the country would find a way to put the transition back on track.

"The current instability is creating conditions which are conducive to a reemergence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
Yemen's air force on Thursday struck concentrations of suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the southern Shabwah province, a local official has said.

The air force, the official said, had struck militant concentrations in the Al-Qaeda-controlled Jebel Raidan region.

He could not, however, say how many militants had been killed in the strike.

He added that tribal leaders in the southern province had continued to negotiate with Al-Qaeda in an effort to secure the release of ten Yemeni troops captured earlier.

Yemen has remained in a state of turmoil since a popular uprising in 2011 led to the ouster of longstanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh one year later.

Al-Qaeda is said to enjoy considerable influence in Yemen's central and southern provinces.

In recent months, Yemen's Shiite Houthi group has assumed control of capital Sanaa while consolidating control over other provinces as well. This has brought it into conflict with local Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda militants.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Şubat 2015, 15:26