The EEAS and member states actively supported the GCC transition process and the response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, but both projects hang in the balance.
The transition in Yemen is the least reported – but perhaps the most complex – in the Middle East and North Africa. It is complicated not only by tribal divisions, corruption, and high levels of terrorist activity, notably from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but also by a humanitarian crisis linked to chronic food and water shortages. However, there is an internationally agreed process for the transition in the context of the GCC initiative for national dialogue and constitutional reform. The EU’s aim in relation to Yemen is to support the GCC process, and international efforts to combat the humanitarian crisis and terrorist activity. The security situation remained unstable, with frequent attacks on urban targets in 2012, including the Bulgarian embassy in May and the US embassy in September.
Following the national vote in February, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had replaced Ali Abdullah Saleh on an interim basis at the end of 2011, was confirmed as president. In October, High Representative Catherine Ashton met with him, and in August the EU announced €18 million to help train electoral teams, develop capacity at local level, and register the population ahead of the 2014 elections. In the context of the “Group of 10”, the EU delegation and the British and French embassies were particularly active on the ground, encouraging the different parties to come to the table in the National Dialogue. France also chaired a working group to develop plans for constitutional reform. However, the transition process is still very precarious and dialogue did not begin as planned in November. If it slips too far into 2013 without results, this could lead to a further deterioration in stability as various parties become disillusioned with the process. On the ground, the EU delegation and Germany were active in the international community’s response to the humanitarian crisis but significant challenges remain in delivering aid to the more remote parts of the country.
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