Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ban Ki-moon Calls for the Release of Political Prisoners in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon called for the release of political prisoners, journalists and civil society activists in Yemen before Eid Al-Fitr. His comments came after he recently said that he was optimistic about the release of prisoners and detainees.

This confirms the report that Asharq Al-Awsat published last week about the fact that the detainees who were recently released by the rebel militias in Yemen were in fact citizens who were arrested from their homes, on roads and at checkpoints, and that they have nothing to do with the legitimate forces and the fighting. The local sources from Taiz that informed Asharq Al-Awsat about this added that there are still many citizens who are languishing in the militias’ prisons in various areas under their control.

Talking about his meeting with the legitimate government and rebel delegations, Ban Ki-moon said that “The situation in Yemen is of profound concern”. He also stressed that “There is an alarming scarcity of basic food items” in Yemen and that the economy was in danger.

The UN Secretary-General added that “This worrying situation gives you, the delegations to the Yemeni talks, a very serious responsibility…I am encouraged by the commitment of both delegations over a period of many weeks, and into this holy month, to reach a successful outcome. But time is not on the side of the Yemeni people. With every day that the conflict remains unresolved, their situation grows worse. The longer the conflict endures, the more time it will take for Yemen to recover.”

Ban Ki-moon stressed that “The position of the international community is clear: the conflict must end, and Yemen must return to the transitional process and work towards the implementation of the Outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.” Ban Ki-moon urged the two delegations to avoid aggravating the situation and act responsibly and flexibly in order to reach a comprehensive solution to end the conflict. He added “I ask both delegations to work seriously with my Special Envoy to agree to a Roadmap of principles, to commit to upholding the cessation of hostilities, to reflect the progress that has been made to date and quickly reach a comprehensive agreement.”