UN proposal would sanction peace spoilers in Yemen
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A proposed U.N. Security Council resolution would authorize sanctions against individuals and organizations threatening peace, security or stability in Yemen.
The British-drafted resolution, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, does not name any individuals or entities that should face a freeze of their assets and travel ban.
Instead, it would establish a committee to decide who should face sanctions and to monitor their implementation, and a panel of experts to assist the committee.
Yemen has been struggling with a transition to democracy since Arab Spring protests in 2011 forced longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years as president. A transitional government led by President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi is trying to deal with insecurity and terrorist attacks, promote national reconciliation, draft a new constitution and hold elections.
As a months-long national dialogue aimed at mapping out the country’s future ended on Jan. 25, Hadi pledged to form commissions to draft a constitution and work out details of a new federation for the country.
When British rule ended in 1967 southerners formed an independent state, but in 1990 the south joined a unified Yemen. A 1994 attempt by southerners to regain independence was crushed in a three-month civil war, but many in the south still support independence.
While Hadi’s government is battling al-Qaida militants, several Yemeni security officials say supporters of ex-president Saleh with links to the country’s security and intelligence agencies have quietly backed al-Qaida fighters to undermine the government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.
The proposed Security Council resolution condemns the growing number of attacks carried out or sponsored by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group’s Yemen branch.
It welcomes the road map for a Yemeni-led political transition agreed on by all political parties at the national dialogue conference and expresses strong support for the next steps: drafting a constitution, poll reforms including the drafting of a new electoral law, holding a referendum on the draft constitution, reforming the government to move from a single to a federal state, and timely general elections.
A resolution adopted by the Security Council in June 2012 threatened non-military sanctions against those trying to undermine Yemen’s transition to democracy.
The proposed new resolution determines “that the situation in Yemen constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region.” It authorizes an asset freeze and travel ban under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be enforced militarily, against those “engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen.”
The draft states that those subject to sanctions may include — but are not limited to — individuals or entities undermining completion of Yemen’s political transition, engaging in acts of violence or terrorism or attacks on essential infrastructure, and planning or committing human rights abuses.