UN envoy urges Yemen leaders to reach deal



SANAA- UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar left on Monday after urging the country's leaders to agree on a political deal, state news agency Saba reported, amid tensions in the capital following deadly clashes.
"It's up to Yemeni leaders to reach a political agreement... and they must not fail to take up their responsibility," Saba quoted Benomar as saying.
It reported him as saying he had been "very affected" by the people's tolerance amid the violence, food and power shortages, restrictions on their movement and doubts about the future.



UN envoy urges Yemen leaders to reach deal
"But the patience of the Yemenis has got its limits and it's up to all Yemeni officials to... take Yemen towards a peaceful transfer and reform."
Benomar said the United Nations "will continue to engage with all parties in this dangerous turning point in Yemen's history and will continue to help Yemenis to move forward."
Saba said the envoy would return to Yemen later, without saying when.
Benomar and the Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general arrived in Sanaa last month in a bid to resolve Yemen's political dispute, but the Gulf-brokered peace deal stalled as scores of people were killed in clashes in the capital.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who returned to Yemen after more than three months in Riyadh, has repeatedly refused to sign a power transfer deal under which he would hand over to his deputy in return for immunity from prosecution.
But on September 12 Saleh, who was treated in Saudi Arabia for wounds suffered in a June explosion at his palace in Sanaa, authorised Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to negotiate a power transfer with the opposition.
However, the opposition has rejected any talks before the 69-year-old steps down.
The youth movement behind the months-long uprising against Saleh said in a letter to the UN on Saturday that at least 861 people have been killed and some 25,000 others wounded since January when mass protests demanding Saleh's resignation began.
They called in the letter for Saleh to face trial in the International Criminal Court.
Tensions rose in Sanaa on Monday when gunmen loyal to dissident Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, who has been locked in battles with government troops, deployed in the capital's northern Al-Hasaba district.
Ahmar gunmen took over several houses in the neighbourhood, an AFP correspondent reported, adding that they left later in the day.
There was also a heavy security presence across the city as residents, fearful of renewed clashes, remained in their homes.
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Monday, October 3rd 2011
AFP
           


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