UNSC imposes arms embargo on Houthi rebels

Published April 15, 2015
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin abstains from a vote in the United Nations Security Council attempting to halt the escalating conflict in Yemen in New York April 14, 2015. — Reuters
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin abstains from a vote in the United Nations Security Council attempting to halt the escalating conflict in Yemen in New York April 14, 2015. — Reuters

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council imposed on Tuesday arms embargo on the Houthi rebels in Yemen and blacklisted a Houthi leader and a son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The vote was 14-0, with Russia abstaining. The Russian ambassador explained the move by saying that not all of Moscow’s proposals had been included in the final text drafted by Jordan and Gulf Arab states.

The Jordanian draft resolution was being debated alongside a separate Russian draft, which called for a “humanitarian pause” in air strikes by the Saudi-led military coalition.

An all-inclusive arms embargo on all parties in the Yemeni conflict, suggested earlier by Russia as an amendment to the Arab draft, was rejected.

“We insisted that the arms embargo needs to be comprehensive; it’s well known that Yemen is awash in weapons,” Vitaly Churkin, the Russian envoy, said.

“The adopted resolution should not be used for further escalation of the armed conflict.”


Resolution also calls upon rebels to withdraw from Sanaa and other areas they have seized


The Houthi rebels took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, in September. They are now fighting for the strategic port city of Aden, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have been bombing the Houthi rebels since March 25, with over 1,000 people reported killed since the start of the conflict.

The Houthi leader, Abdul Malek al Houthi, and the ex-president’s eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, will face an asset freeze and travel ban in accordance with the sanctions.

Last November, UNSC imposed similar sanctions on Saleh, the rebel group’s military commander Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and the Houthi’s second-in-command, Abdullah Yahya al Hakim.

The resolution also urged “Member States, in particular States neighbouring Yemen, to inspect ... all cargo to Yemen” if they had reasonable grounds to believe it contained weapons.

The resolution demanded all Yemeni parties to stop fighting, especially the Houthis, who were called upon to withdraw from Sanaa and other areas they had seized.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2015

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