U.N. Security Council considering targeted sanctions in Yemen

UNITED NATIONS Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:45pm EST

A man holds a poster of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside al-Saleh mosque after weekly Friday prayers in Sanaa May 17, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

A man holds a poster of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside al-Saleh mosque after weekly Friday prayers in Sanaa May 17, 2013 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council is considering a draft resolution to impose travel bans and asset freezes on people in Yemen who obstruct or undermine the country's political transition and those who commit human rights violations.

Yemen, a U.S. ally, with a population of 25 million, is trying to end nearly three years of political unrest, which began with mass protests against Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president for 33 years who stepped down in 2012.

Britain circulated a draft resolution among the 15 council members on Friday that would establish a sanctions committee for one year to blacklist individuals and entities in Yemen. The draft does not initially name anyone to be subjected to sanctions.

The Security Council has previously expressed concern over reports of interference by Saleh and former Vice President Ali Salim Al-Beidh. In November, Jamal Benomar, special U.N. adviser on Yemen, accused members of Saleh's circle of obstructing reconciliation talks aimed at completing a power transfer deal that eased Saleh out of office.

The draft recognizes "that the transition process requires turning the page from the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh" and stresses that the best solution is a "peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led political transition process that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people."

Several diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said last month that is appeared all council members were ready to begin work on setting up a new U.N. sanctions regime for Yemen.

"It's clear that a signal must be given by the Security Council that there is no walking back from the achievements of the national dialogue in Yemen and that the Security Council continues to support this positive transition and change," Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said earlier this month.

Interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has been facing other challenges in trying to restore stability to Yemen, which shares a long and porous border with top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

Yemen is also trying to deal with demands by southern separatists for independence and to quell rebels from the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi movement, which has been on an offensive to extend its control over the north.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (2)
sabrefencer wrote:
Yemen, take some of your monies, or get some from those that have them, hire an army, while building your own…..then for once and all, hunt down these killers and subject them to justice…if they really, have proper grievances, then see if you can do what is right and settle them…but you need, to take decisive actions…sanctions, unless widespread total and monitored, are easily broken…you need to hunt these terrorists down now!…you don’t have the time to chat…

Feb 21, 2014 5:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:
The US and EU consistently cut off their trade with the world because western leaders delude themselves with the notion that economic suicide will impress others. China trades with all of the world and has massive trade surplusses and huge foreign currency reserves, so their system works.

Business and wealth pays for US and EU militaries, so western sanctions reduce the military ability of western idiots to impose their inferior ideals and delusions on others. This allows people to learn practical methods for gaining resources and objectives instead of pursuing idealistic poverty.

Feb 21, 2014 6:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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