Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Yemen rescinds expulsion of UN human rights envoy

Yemen informed the United Nations that it is rescinding its order expelling the top U.N. human rights representative in the conflict-wracked country. Yemen’s U.N. Ambassador Khaled Alyemany said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the government has decided “to maintain the status quo” of the representative, George Abu al-Zulof. The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, cites “excesses” by the rights office that led to the request to replace al-Zulof. But it says “because of the fuss created around the matter” the government decided to give more time to review its relationship with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. A senior U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the communication was private, said if the order declaring the representative persona non grata is reversed the United Nations will “very much welcome” the development. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein had appealed to Yemen to allow the representative to stay. The U.N. human rights office said this week it received allegations that the Saudi-led forces used cluster bombs.



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