UN Imposes Arms Embargo on Houthis

UN Imposes Arms Embargo on HouthisUN Imposes Arms Embargo on Houthis

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday imposed an arms embargo targeting the Houthi rebels who rule most of Yemen and blacklisted the son of the country’s former president and a Houthi leader after council veto-power Russia abstained, Reuters reported.

The Security Council adopted the resolution - drafted by council member Jordan and (Persian) Gulf Arab states - with 14 votes in favor, but after weeks of negotiations Russia abstained, saying some of its proposals were not included.

“The co-sponsors refused to include the requirements insisted upon by Russia addressed to all sides to the conflict to swiftly halt fire and to begin peace talks,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after the vote.

“We insisted that the arms embargo needs to be comprehensive; it’s well-known that Yemen is awash in weapons,” Churkin added. “The adopted resolution should not be used for further escalation of the armed conflict.”

Yemen’s Houthi-led Supreme Revolutionary Committee condemned the resolution as supporting “aggression.”

The resolution imposed an arms embargo on the five men and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen” - effectively the Houthi and soldiers loyal to Saleh.

The Security Council resolution demands the Houthis stop fighting and withdraw from areas they have seized, including Sanaa. It expressed concern at “destabilizing actions” taken by former President Saleh, “including supporting the Houthis.”

Russia put forward its own draft resolution earlier this month demanding “regular and obligatory humanitarian pauses in the air strikes” to allow for the evacuation of foreigners.

The resolution adopted on Tuesday requests UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “intensify his efforts in order to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and evacuation, including the establishment of humanitarian pauses, as appropriate, in coordination with the government of Yemen.”