UN Imposes Arms Embargo on Yemen Rebels

yemen rebels

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution on Yemen, imposing an arms embargo on the Houthi rebels.

The 15-member council passed the resolution on Tuesday, with 14 countries voting in favour while one – Russia – abstained.

Russia, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, said the embargo should have been imposed on the whole country.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said the resolution was not fully in line with the requirements which were put forward to the international community.

“The adopted resolution should not be used for further escalation of the armed conflict which could have the most difficult consequences for Yemen itself as well as the whole region,” said Churkin. “There is no alternative to a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.”

He said Russia’s “constructive proposals” were not taken into account during the drafting of the agreement.

Samantha Power, US envoy to the UN, said her country strongly supported the resolution as it “shows that the Security Council will take action against those who continue to undermine the efforts to the reconciliation”.

She also said that “a legitimate transition in Yemen can only be achieved through political negotiations and a concensus agreement among all political parties based on the [Gulf Cooperation Council] GCC initiative and the outcomes of Yemen’s national dialogue conference”.

Khaled Alyemany, Yemen’s ambassador to the UN, thanked the Security Council for the adoption of the resolution, saying his country would never forget the help and would remain forever grateful.


Reporting from New York, Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays said the resolution blacklisted the son of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh – Ahmed – as well as a top Houthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi. They will face a global asset freeze and travel ban.

Former president Saleh and two other senior Houthi leaders – Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim – were blacklisted by the Security Council in November. Yemeni soldiers loyal to Saleh are fighting alongside the Houthis.

The resolution was put forward by Jordan and Gulf countries.

Saudi-led coalition – made up mainly of four Gulf Arab countries – launched air strikes against the Iran-allied Houthis in neighbouring Yemen last month. The United States said last week it was speeding up arms supplies to the coalition.

Iran on Monday urged the formation of a new Yemeni government and offered to assist in a political transition.

The Saudi military is boosting security along the Yemeni border, moving in tanks, artillery units and border guards to counter the threat posed by Houthi fighters.


Reprinted with permission from Al Jazeera