U.N. to vote on Yemen arms embargo

A Saudi artillery unit fires shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen.

A Saudi artillery unit fires shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen.


The U.N. Security Council is due to vote on Tuesday on a resolution to blacklist the son of Yemen’s former president and impose an arms embargo on Iranian-backed Houthi militias, diplomats said.

The vote is taking place as fighting escalates between the Houthis and supporters of Yemen’s legitimate President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, as airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition aims to halt militia advances in the country.

It was unclear how Russia would vote on the draft by council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states. Russia has insisted on an arms embargo on all parties, including Hadi’s government.

The Russian U.N. mission declined to comment to Reuters news agency on Monday on whether it would support the resolution, abstain or veto.

The draft is aimed at ending the Houthis’ attempt to take over the strategic Mideast country.

Draft proposal specifics

The draft would impose an asset freeze and travel ban on Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and the ex-president’s eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The council imposed the same sanctions on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the rebel group’s military commander Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and the Houthi’s second-in-command Abdullah Yahya al Hakim last November.

The Jordanian draft would also impose an arms embargo on all five men and call on all countries, especially Yemen’s neighbors, to inspect cargo headed to Yemen if there are “reasonable grounds” to believe it contains weapons.

The draft also demands that all Yemeni parties, especially the Houthis, end the violence.

It demands that the Houthis withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital Sanaa, and relinquish all arms and missiles seized from military and security institutions.

The resolution also “calls upon Member States, in particular States neighboring Yemen, to inspect … all cargo to Yemen” if they have reasonable grounds to believe it contains weapons destined for the poor Arabian peninsula country.

It demands the Houthis stop fighting and withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital Sanaa. It also expresses concern at “destabilizing actions” taken by former President Saleh “including supporting the Houthis’ actions.”

Russia put forward its own draft resolution earlier this month demanding “regular and obligatory humanitarian pauses in the air strikes by the coalition” to allow for the evacuation of foreigners. The Jordan and Gulf Arab text calls on all parties to facilitate the evacuation of foreigners.

The United States said last week it is speeding up arms supplies to the coalition.


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