UN discussing sanctions against Yemen's former regime affiliates
The U.N. sanctions may target associates to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh (File Archive)
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Certain groups in Yemen may be the target of new U.N. sanctions, according to Agence France Presse this week.
The U.N. Security Council is currently preparing a resolution that orders sanctions against "figures seeking to undermine Yemen's state-building drive" and some council member countries want former president Ali Abdullah Saleh named in the document.
"The body is 'ready to take measures' against those who act against [Yemen's national] conference, [and] the council is united [on this issue]" said Council president Prince Zeid Al Hussein, Jordan's U.N. envoy.
Yemen's recent nationwide dialogue conference which ended Saturday has resulted in a new constitution document and has outlined foundations for a federal state. However, unrest throughout the country may undermine this progress, according to U.N. special representative to Yemen Jamal Benomar, who informed reporters and the security council that the "former regime" has been threatening the country's transition efforts.
"Yemen is the only negotiated transition in the context of the Arab spring and now the country where the most genuine transparent and inclusive national dialogue has taken place. Undoubtedly there is real progress in the transition and the beginning of a new political culture in Yemen, yet the situation remains fragile. Elements of the former regime continue to maneuver to obstruct, to frustrate and undermine the course of change, aiming to set back and bring down the transition," Benomar said, but did not mention specific names.
Diplomats told reporters that talks will start soon on the resolution and a vote can be expected to take place in February.
"The aim is to include sanctions but there is no decision yet on which names should be included," according to one diplomat.
"It is clear that Saleh is involved and some countries want him and other members of his regime specifically named," according to another diplomat interviewed.
Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned from his leadership post in February 2012 following over a year of protests against his rule.