UN warns of sanctions on Sanaa reform opponents |
Gulf Times - 13 June, 2012
The UN Security Council yesterday unanimously passed a resolution threatening sanctions against groups seen undermining Yemen’s political transition and staging attacks in the country.
So-called “spoilers” such as the family and supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, though not named in the resolution, are a particular target of the warning in Resolution 2051, diplomats said.
The 15-nation council gave strong support to the efforts of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s efforts to reform the security and armed forces and launch a national conference of rival parties and factions.
The council condemned Al Qaeda attacks and said it “demands the cessation of all actions aimed at undermining the government of national unity and the political transition” after Saleh’s departure.
It demanded a halt to attacks on oil, gas and electricity infrastructure and to “interference” in government efforts to name new heads of the armed forces.
The council expressed its “readiness to consider further measures, including under Article 41 of the UN Charter if such actions continue.” The article allows for mainly economic sanctions, such as an assets freeze and travel ban.
Diplomats highlighted how Russia and China had agreed to the sanctions threat, while they have so far blocked moves to step up international action against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
They also highlighted how the followers of Saleh, who stood down after a year-long mass uprising, were a major focus of international warnings.
“They should read this resolution particularly carefully,” Britain’s UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters.
The resolution “makes clear that any spoilers, those who are trying to disrupt the transition, disrupt the national dialogue, disrupt the national unity government, will be held accountable,” Lyall Grant added.
Yemeni Nobel Peace prize laureate Tawakul Karman welcomed the resolution and said the members of Saleh’s family who still hold top jobs in the military must change.
“Some of the Ali Saleh family, they lead the army and the security forces and the resolution of the Security Council was clear that they must change,” Karman told reporters outside the Security Council.
The resolution also called on Hadi’s government, however, to quickly pass legislation on transitional justice to support reconciliation efforts. Hadi must also guide through legislation to allow for new national elections in 2014.
“The timeline for this transition is very tight and there is no time to lose,” said UN special envoy for Yemen, Jamal Benomar, calling for the legislation to be quickly passed.