Decorations for Yemen transition supporters
By Nasser Arrabyee,19/11/2012
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was honored with the State's highest decoration in his first ever visit to Yemen. In his 10-hour visit to the troubled country, Mr Ban Ki-moon attended a celebration of the first anniversary of signing the deal that rescued Yemen from a civil war.
The top UN official was seen as brave enough to make it to a country where political assassinations remain one of the common techniques of negotiations between the conflicting parties.
Although security measures were exceptionally tightened Monday November 19, 2012, in the Yemeni capital Sanaa before and during the arrival and departure of Ban Ki-moon,a military helicopter took him from ( and to)the Sanaa airport to the Presidential House where he met President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and other officials and diplomats.
Almost all streets around the Presidential House at the southern part of the city, were closed causing additional heavy traffic in the other streets.
On November 23rd, 2011, the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents who were behind the then uprising, signed the deal that was called the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative (GCCI), which was sponsored by Saudi Arabia and backed mainly by United States. The UN Security Council issued two resolutions to support the deal after the special envoy of Ban Kimoon, Jamal Bin Omar, exerted well-recognized efforts to make the conflicting parties sign it.
Now, only one year is left for President Hadi to finish his transitional period successfully as planned by the GCCI.
Despite securities, political, and economic difficulties, Hadi seemed to be confident about moving forward but relying on external support more than internal one.
"The GCC Initiative is not like any previous deal, it is guaranteed by two UN resolutions," said President Hadi referring to the UNSC resolutions 2014 and 2051 to support the transition in Yemen.
Spoilers from both sides keep spoiling the implementation of the deal, especially the most important two steps to be taken from now on: the holding of the national dialogue, and the unifying and restructuring of the army.
President Hadi threatened to punish spoilers, without saying who are they and how they are going to be punished.
" The Yemeni people would punish the spoilers before the UN or anyone from outside," He said.
Preaident Hadi said clearly that there was no victoriuous and defeated party when the deal was signed in the Saudi capital Riyadh last year.
"Both the constitutional legitmacy and revolutionary legitmacy provided concessions and produced the GCCI," said Hadi. President Slaeh and his supporters were sticking to what they called constitutional legitimacy, and Saleh's opponents and their supporters were talking about revolutionary legitimacy.
The President Hadi decorated Mr Ban Ki-moon the decoration of the Republic, and Jamal Bin Omar and Abdul Latif Al Zayani, the GCC Secretary General, the decorations of the Unity.
Ban Ki-moon said that the progress so far in the implementation of the transitional deal is good praising the leadership of Hadi.
" No turning back, and the difficult legacies of the past will be solved by understandings and reconciliations and by the wise, strong and successful leadership of President Hadi," said Ban Kimoon.
However, his envoy, Jamal Bin Omar, said that Yemeni politicians and youth deserve the decoration more than him, warning that dangers are still facing the settlement.
"The Yemeni leaders, and you come first, and the youth deserve the honor decoration more than me," said the UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar.
"The transition is still fragile and dangers are still big," he warned.
For the GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani, he was very optimistic about the steps taken so far and the coming steps.
" Today, I saw Yemen better than it was, and tomorrow it would be even much more better. I saw the hope in the street, with the officias and with normal people and with every one," said Al Zayani.
Before the celebration, Ban K-moon met with the most important two committees, the military committee assigned with removing the security tensions and working on unifying and restructuring the army and security forces, and the technical committee for preparing for the national dialogue.
The US ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein along with the six Gulf and 3 European ambassadors ( known as the ambassadors of the 10 sponsor countries of GCCI) attended the meetings with the UN Secretary General.
In the meeting with the technical committee for preparing for the national dialogue, Al Houthi representative Mohammed Al Bukhaiti walked out from the meeting in protest over attending of the American ambassador.
"We can not accept participation of US ambassador, whose country kills children and women in Gaza," said Al Houthi representative Mohammed Al Bukhaiti as he walked out from the meeting.
All signatories of the GCC attended the celebration of the first anniversary of signing, except for the former President Saleh.
" The celebration would have been better if all the signatories attended," said Tarik Mohammed Saleh, nephew and former commander of special guards of Saleh, in an obvious reference to his uncle.
President Hadi was supposed to announce a date for starting the national dialogue on November 15, 2012, but he did not do that because of the preparations were not completed.
President Hadi said in a press conference held after the celebration of Monday that 95 per cent of the preparations of the national dialogue were already complete and that more weeks are needed for finalizing everything.