The arms embargo on Yemen’s Al Houthi group by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is a welcome development. The adoption of resolution by UNSC, renewing sanctions on the militia and labelling the Al Houthis as a ‘terrorist group’ — for the first time — will go a long way to limit their capacity of escalating the war in Yemen.
The UN resolution condemned the Al Houthi terrorist group’s cross-border attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and demanded the group’s immediate cessation of hostilities.
“The council agreed to expand a targeted UN arms embargo on several Houthi leaders to the whole group, a move pushed by the UAE after the Houthis claimed several drone and missile assaults on the UAE and Saudi Arabia this year,” Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, noted.
During recent months, Al Houthis have waged an unprecedented string of largely failed missiles strikes on targets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Three people were killed in one such attack in Abu Dhabi, prompting targeted coalition air strikes against the group.
Before it started the barrage of ballistic, cruise missiles and weaponised drones against civilian sites across the UAE, the UN-designated terrorist group seized an Emirati-flagged ship off the Yemen.
A new phase of violence
It has been clear for some time now that alarmed by a string of defeat on the battleground, Al Houthis have resorted to a new phase of violence.
Therefore the labelling of Al Houthis as a terror group by the UN should serve as a reminder to other powers, mainly the US, to return the extremist group to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations. This will not only help disrupt illicit financial and weapons networks feeding the Houthi terror machine but also add pressure on the group and put an end to hostilities in the protracted Yemen war.
On its part, Al Houthis must take note of the latest political developments and cease their terrorist acts and coastal attacks. The group must return to the negotiating table to begin a serious political process.
More efforts are needed to reach a political solution under the auspices of the UN in accordance with the Gulf Initiative and the results of the National Dialogue Conference and relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution No 2216.