Arab states want U.N. blacklisting of Saleh’s son

Gulf Arab countries and Jordan want the United Nations Security Council to blacklist the son of Yemen’s former president. (File photo: Reuters)

Experts from the 15-council members met on Tuesday for the first time to discuss a draft resolution that would impose a global asset freeze and travel ban on Ahmed Saleh, the former head of Yemen’s elite Republican Guard, and Abdulmalik al-Houthi, a top leader of the Iran-allied Shiite Houthi group.

See also: The Snake Pit - An interactive guide to Houthi militia leaders

Saleh’s father, former Yemen President Ali Abdullah 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 the former president are fighting alongside the Houthis.

In the resolution, which was drafted by Jordan and the six members of the GCC, the Arab countries also called on the U.N. to impose an arms embargo on the rebels that rule most of the poor Arabian Peninsula country.

It would impose an arms embargo on the five men and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen” - effectively the Houthi militia and soldiers loyal to Saleh.

The resolution “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.

The draft also calls for a political solution to the conflict and urges that ways be found quickly to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid, the Associated Press reported quoting a U.N. diplomat.

Jordan and the Gulf Arab states had been negotiating with the council’s veto-wielding powers - the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China - for more than a week before circulating a draft text to all 15 council members on Monday.

In the meantime, Russia on Saturday put forward its own draft resolution demanding “regular and obligatory humanitarian pauses in the air strikes by the coalition” to allow for the evacuation of foreigners.

The draft was circulated as the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis and their allies, including backers of ousted President Saleh, continued for a 13th day. The Saudis support Yemen’s embattled president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Houthis in neighboring Yemen nearly two weeks ago with a coalition made up mainly of four Gulf Arab allies. The United States said on Tuesday it is speeding up arms supplies to the coalition.


[With AP and Reuters]

 

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