Yemen gets mixed grade from U.N. official

Oct. 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Yemen gets a mixed report card for its progress on a variety of reforms made during the last two years, a visiting U.N. human rights official said.

U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri arrived Sunday in Yemen to meet with President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi and key ministers.

Hadi took power last year after longtime President Saleh stepped down in the wake of the Middle East and North African upheavals known as the Arab Spring in 2011.

Pansieri said Thursday from Yemen the government has made progress with a national dialogue agenda aimed at facilitating broad-based reconciliation in a country unsettled by lingering divisions.

Hadi said he had hundreds of delegates tasked with leading the reconciliation effort. Pansieri said human rights should be at the forefront of any national conversation.

The rights chief took issue with a juvenile justice system that charged minors to death. Overall, the rights chief said she was leaving Yemen with mixed feelings.

"I had some good meetings, and heard some important commitments, but the road ahead is still a steep one," she said in a statement. "The future of Yemen cannot be built on impunity for past violations whenever and wherever they occurred."

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