[JURIST] The UN special envoy to Yemen warned the UN Security Council during an emergency meeting Sunday that the situation in Yemen is teetering on the brink of civil war. The special envoy, Jamal Benomar [UN profile], warned [Al Jazeera report] the Council that the increasingly violent and expanding conflict in Yemen could erupt into civil war, pitting a number of competing factions against one another. Benomar called on the international community to work together to deescalate the conflict and procure a peaceful resolution. According to Al Jazeera, Benomar warned that the increasingly dire situation in Yemen has the potential to “turn into something of an Iraq-Libya-Syria combination.” The situation in Yemen has grown more complex since the Shia militia, known as Houthis [BBC backgrounder] captured [Reuters report] the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi [Al Jazeera profile] was forced to flee [Al Jazeera report] to Yemen’s second city Aden in the wake of the Houthis advance.
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen has sparked major international concern. In February UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged [JURIST report] Yemen to reinstate President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. In November the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] expressed concern [JURIST report] over alleged human rights violations occurring in Yemen in recent months. In May Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] reported that traffickers in Yemen were holding [JURIST report] African migrants in detention camps and using torture as a method of extorting money from their families with the cooperation of local officials.