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The UN votes unanimously to extend sanctions against the Houthis in Yemen


UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to extend the arms embargo against Yemeni Houthi rebels and an asset freeze and travel ban on Houthi leaders and top officials until November 15.

The resolution, drafted by the British, also extends the mandate of the UN panel of experts overseeing the sanctions until December 15.

In February 2022, the Security Council extended an arms embargo against Houthi leaders to all Houthis, saying they were threatening the peace, security and stability of the war-torn country.

Following Wednesday’s vote, the council met behind closed doors to hear briefings from Hans Grundberg, the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, and Joyce Msuya, the assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country with a population of 26 million, plunged into civil war in 2014 after the Iranian-backed Houthis took over the capital Sanaa. The internationally recognized government fled and sought support from neighboring Gulf states.

In March 2015, a Saudi Arabian-led military coalition embarked on a devastating war to restore the government that killed more than 10,000 people, displaced 2 million people and sparked one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The war has largely degenerated into a stalemate.

A UN-backed ceasefire came into effect last April, raising hopes for an extended lull in the fighting, but ended on October 2 after just six months.

Grundberg told the council in January that despite the end of the ceasefire, “the overall military situation in Yemen has remained stable.” He said he was encouraged by intensified regional and international diplomatic activity to end the country’s eight-year conflict, and reportedly followed up on those efforts at Wednesday’s private council meeting.

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