UN imposes extended arms embargo on Houthi rebels in Yemen
The UN Security Council voted on Monday to impose an extensive arms embargo on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, saying they threaten the peace, security and stability of the war-torn country.
Council members said the rebels are responsible for attacks on civilians, commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Security Council had previously imposed an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against Houthi leaders and senior officials, but this resolution significantly expands the arms embargo to include all Houthis.
The British-drafted resolution said the Iran-backed Houthis “implemented a policy of sexual violence and repression against politically active and professional women, engaged in the recruitment and use of children”, indiscriminately used landmines and improvised explosive devices, and obstructed humanitarian assistance. to Yemenis.
Yemen has been rocked by civil war since 2014, when the Houthis took control of the capital of Sanaa and much of the country’s north, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee south and then to Arabia. saudi. A Saudi-led coalition went to war in March 2015, backed by the United States, to try to restore President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power. Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war largely deteriorated into a stalemate and spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The United States has since suspended its direct involvement in the conflict.
Monday’s vote was 11-0, with Ireland, Norway, Brazil and Mexico abstaining over concerns over the negative impact on the dire humanitarian situation in the Arab world’s poorest country. and the risk of undermining a fragile political process.
Since 2014, nine Yemenis have been added to the UN sanctions blacklist. including Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi movement, and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is believed to have died in December 2017. Additions last year included three senior Houthi rebels linked to cross-border attacks by the Yemen to Saudi Arabia and the Houthi offensive in the central desert town of Marib.
The resolution extends sanctions against them until February 28, 2023, which include an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban.
The resolution adopted on Monday adding the arms embargo to all Houthis calls on all countries “to redouble their efforts to combat the smuggling of arms and components by land and sea, in order to ensure the implementation of the targeted arms embargo”.
It “strongly condemns the cross-border attacks by the Houthi terrorist group, including the attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, striking civilians and civilian infrastructure, and demanding the immediate cessation of such attacks.”
UN envoys have been trying for several years to get the Houthis and the government to commit to a nationwide ceasefire and reopen Sanaa airport to commercial traffic. They also urged them to ensure an uninterrupted flow of fuel and goods through the main port of Hodeidah and to resume a political process aimed at reaching a political settlement.
The resolution says there is no military solution to the current conflict and that the only viable path is “dialogue and reconciliation among the many and varied parties”.
It extends the mandate of the UN group of experts monitoring the implementation of sanctions until March 28, 2023.
In their latest report released on January 29, experts said that nearly 2,000 children recruited by the Houthis died on the battlefield between January 2020 and May 2021, and that the Iranian-backed rebels continue to organize camps and courses encouraging young people to fight.