UNSC Designates Houthis as Terrorist Group, Expands Arms Embargo

The UN Security Council adopted on Monday a draft resolution on Yemen that labels the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist group for the first time and expands the scope of an existing arms embargo.

The terrorist designation reflects Houthi’s attacks on civilians in Yemen, the recruitment of child soldiers, its ‘policy of sexual violence,’ and their use of landmines.

Tabled by the UAE, Security Council Resolution 2624 is now encompassing the entire membership of the group targeting the Houthi militia leaders, including Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, and also renews for an additional year the financial sanctions and a travel ban on Houthi militia’s senior members.

The new, tougher resolution follows the wide range of violations affecting the Yemeni people and the international community as well as Houthi’s ongoing series of cross-border drone and missile attacks targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and assaults on international shipping in the Red Sea.

Supported by 11 of the 15 UNSC members, Resolution 2624 condemns as a violation of the arms embargo established by Resolution 2216 in 2015 the continuing supply of weapons and weapon components to the Houthis from outside Yemen.

It urges all UN member states to ensure targeted arms embargo implementation and to step up the fight against the smuggling of weapons and components.

Although Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, and Norway abstained from voting because of humanitarian concerns, the new measures – as the resolution stresses – are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for Yemen’s civilian population nor for the civilian access to humanitarian assistance, commercial imports or remittances.

Saudi Arabia welcomed Resolution 2624 on Monday with the Foreign Ministry expressing hopes that it would contribute to ending the activities of the terrorist Houthi militia and its supporters.

Saudi Foreign Ministry’s statement adds that the resolution would neutralize the danger militias pose and cease its supplying with missiles, drones, weapons, and Iranian funds to finance its military actions targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s civilians and economic facilities and threatening international navigation.

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