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Mission History: 



Yemen is located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula and is the second-largest country in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi). The coastline stretches for about 2,000 km (1,200 mi). It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east-northeast. Although Yemen's constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sana'a, the city has been under rebel control since February 2015. Because of this, Yemen's capital has been temporarily relocated to the port city of Aden, on the southern coast. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands; the largest of these is the UNESCO world heritage recognized archipelago of Socotra.

Yemen’s geographical location has given it a historical strategic importance in the trade route between Asia, Africa and Europe, which has been evident for centuries. The country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires in the early twentieth century. The Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established after World WarI in North Yemen before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1962. South Yemen remained a British protectorate known as the Aden Protectorate until 1967 when it became an independent state and later, a soviet satellite state. The two Yemeni states unified to form the modern Republic of Yemen in 1990.

Yemen is a developing country and the poorest country in the Middle East. Under the rule of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen was described by critics as a kleptocracy.Saleh’s era was infamous with oppressing the South of Yemen and leading six years’ war against Houthi militia in the province of Saadah to the North.

Since 2011, Yemen has been in a state of political crisis starting with street protests against poverty, unemployment, corruption, and president Saleh's plan to amendYemen's constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life. President Saleh stepped down and the powers of the presidency were transferred to Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was formally elected president on 21 February 2012. The transitional process was part of the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative (GCC) followed by a National Dialogue Conference, where representatives of the Yemeni political parties, community leaders, youth, and women agreed on a roadmap of the new Yemen, Known as the National Dialogue Outcomes Document. In September 2014, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia took over Sana'a with the help of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, later declaring themselves in control of the country after a coup d'état. The alliance between the Houthis and Saleh, after fighting.

each other for six years, emphasized their frustration with their inability to achieve political gains through the manipulation of the political process. The Houthi-Saleh rebels led an aggressive attack on Yemen’s governorates and stretched to control by force a large part of the country. Resistance started from within different regions in the country and President Hadi requested support by all measures including military intervention (article 51 of the UN charter) from the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of the Arab States to protect Yemen from the aggressive actions of Houthis-Saleh forces. The Yemeni Government, supported by the Arab Coalition, pushed the militia back and now control 80% of the land, while the militia still control the remaining 20%.

The Houthi-Saleh coalition was always a fragile one, and Houthis used the forces loyal to Saleh to control the capital Sana’a and other cities. When the marriage of convenience between the two parties ended, a fierce fight broke between their forces, in the populated neighborhoods of Sana’a in early December 2017. In this battle, Houthi militia used tanks and heavy weaponry, resulting in a heavy toll of civilian casualties. The fight ended when Houthi militias killed their ally, former President Saleh and many other members of the GPC party, on 4 December 2017 and captured members of his family.

Following the killing of Saleh, Houthi rebels carried out a campaign of profanation, demolition of houses, abduction and extra-judicial executions against opponents from the GPC party, including executions inside hospitals against injured fighters in a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

Yemen in the United Nations:

As a member country, Yemen has received attention and efforts from United Nations, and the Secretary General appointed a Special Envoy to facilitate the political transition in the country after the revolution in 2011, and to lead UN-brokered peace talks after Houthis’coup d'étatn 2014. The first Special Envoy Mr. Jamal Benomar played a crucial role in theYemen’s transitional process, facilitating the National Dialogue Conference, while the Second Special Envoy, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed facilitated the internationalcommunity’s efforts for Yemen peace talks from Geneva, Biel and Kuwait.

Moreover, the Security Council has addressed the unstable political, security, and humanitarian situations of the country. The deterioration of these situations in the period 2011 until now at the beginning of 2018 was met with number of Security Council resolutions and PRSTs, including:


  • -  Resolution 2014 (2011), which addressed the situation of rising public demands for change. The resolution welcomed the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative that created a path for peaceful political transition.

  • -  Resolution 2051 (2012), which reaffirmed the points included in the resolution 2014 (2011), and noted that the second phase of the transition should focus on convening an all-inclusive national dialog, restructuring security and armed forces, addressing transitional justice, and hold a general election by February 2014 after undertaking constitutional and electoral reforms.

  • -  Resolution 2140 (2014) welcomed the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and expressed the Security Council’s support to the transition process in Yemen. In the paragraphs 11 to 19 of this resolution, and under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, Security Council decided to establish a committee that shall designate individuals and entities that are engaging or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen. The Security Council decided that all member states for an initial period of one year shall freeze all the funds, financial assets and economic resources of all individuals designated by the committee and prevent them from entering into or transiting through its territories.

  • -  Resolution 2201 (2015), which strongly deplored the actions taken by Houthis including taking over government’s institution, and called all parties to refrain from using violence to achieve political gains. It demanded that Houthis immediately and unconditionally to engage in good faith in the United Nations-brokered negotiations, withdraw from government institutions including in the Capital Sana’a, safely release President Hadi, Prime Minister Bahah and other individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained, and refrain from any unilateral action.

  • -  Resolution 2204 (2015), in which the Security Council reiterated the points included in the resolutions 2140 (2014) and 2201 (2015), and decided to renew until 26 February 2016 the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of the resolution 2140 (2014).

  • -  Resolution 2216 (2015). According to the concept of the international law, this resolution constitutes the most important legal tool available to the international community to restore constitutional legitimacy and law and order in Yemen. It even constitutes an important legal tool and a precedent in the international law to deal with terrorist organizations and armed groups that jeopardize the sovereignty of countries. The resolution reaffirmed Security Council’s support for the legitimacy of the President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and called Member States

    to abstain from actions that may undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence, and the territorial integrity of Yemen, as well as the legitimacy of the President of Yemen.

    When the Security Council adopted resolution 2216, the council spoke with a unified voice when Houthis refused to meet the requirements of resolution 2201 of 15 February 2015 and continued their aggressions against the Yemeni people and their legitimate government. This resolution addressed the evolving crises in Yemen as Houthis led an aggressive attack on Yemen’s governorates, and President Hadi requested support by all measures including military intervention from the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of the Arab Stats to protect Yemen from the aggressive actions of Houthis. The majority of the Security Council members expressed their support to the operations of the Coalition, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to restore constitutional legitimacy in Yemen. Therefore, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council demanded Houthis and other parties to fully implement resolution 2201 (2015). The Council further demanded Houthis to end the use of violence, withdraw forces from Capital Sana’a and all other seized areas, and relinquish missile systems and all other arms seized from military and security institutions. The Council demanded Houthis to cease all actions that are within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen, refrain from provocation or threatening neighboring stats, release the Minister of Defense, Mahmood al-subihi and all other political prisoners, and stop recruiting children and release all children from their ranks.


    Humanitarian situation:

    Although the legitimate government now controls 80% of the land, the majority of the Yemeni population (70% of the population) live in the high lands area controlled by Houthis. The indifferent behavior toward Yemenis from a militia that only cares to implement the Iranian agenda in the region has caused a rapid deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the country. According to UNSC Panel of Experts report, the militia controls around 70% of the country’s revenue, but refuses to pay public sector salaries or operational expenses of government agencies. For example, the militia refused to pay the operational expenses of garbage collection and allowed garbage to pile up in the streets and near water sources. This caused the world fastest growing Cholera outbreak, according to UN reports the number of suspected cases reached over 900,000 cases, 90% of which were recorded in the areas controlled by the militia. Thanks to the outstanding effort of the Government, UN agencies and other international and local NGOs, in particular King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief and Emirati Red Crescent, more than 90% of recorded Cholera cases were fully treated.

    The economic consequences of the war and the inability to pay public-sector salaries, have exacerbated the humanitarian situation in the country. As of latest estimations in 2017, half of the 27 million population live in areas affected by the conflict and 3 million Yemenis have been forcibly internally displaced. While 60 percent (about 17 million Yemenis) are estimated food insecure, a further 7 million are severely food insecure. The already high malnutrition rate has increased by 57 percent since 2015, affecting about 3.3 million people, 462,000 of which are children under five.

    The United Nations Office of the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced in January 2018 that $2.96 billion is needed to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The countries of the Arab Coalition immediately responded by donating $1.5 billion, covering 50 percent of the needed budget. The humanitarian situation in Yemen is severe and requires collective efforts to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people. UN agencies and regional and international humanitarian actors, including King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief and the Emirati Red Crescent, have delivered generous assistance to the Yemeni people, most notably installing the WFP four cranes funded by USAID to speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. However, there is a crucial need for more humanitarian relief and assistance.

    Although it is important to provide humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, a sustainable political solution is what will end the peoples suffering. Without a political solution the humanitarian crisis will persist and no aid will relief the people of Yemen.

    Economic situation:

    Yemen remains one of the impoverished countries in the world. In Yemen, GDP per capita in 2015 was slightly over $1600. It was over $1400 in 2014. Yemen ranks 154th out of 185 countries in terms of GDP per capita according to the World Bank/IMF. In Yemen 73% of the population lives in rural areas, where most are employed in agriculture and herding. Poverty levels are high with 45% of the population live on less than two dollars per day. According to Yemeni Government statistics, the pre-conflict unemployment rate stood at over 40% with the youth unemployment also bloated at over 40%, incorporating both those at the working age who are unemployed and underemployed. Similarly, Yemen’s overall youth population (under age 14) account for over 40% of the total demographic figure of 27.5 million, which has tremendous ramifications for the future of Yemen. Indeed, ifYemen’s inveterate employment issues are not moderated, and if the job market is not mitigated to be conductive to create more opportunities for its enormous youth and growing adult population, this win portend grave concern for Yemen’s future.

    In terms of certain elements of trade, Yemen is a net importer of all major products and other categories, but especially in food and live stocks. Yemen imports more than 75% of its main dietary stable (i.e., wheat) as well and other basic agriculture goods and supplies. Yemen exports petroleum and liquefied natural gas; and prior to the current conflict in Yemen the government drew 70% of its revenues from its hydrocarbons sector (oil and gas). However, unless there are new discoveries, its current oil and gas reserves are diminishing. The reminder of government proceeds was obtained from sources emanating from fisheries exports, local agriculture production, tourism and domestic taxes and Levies. Furthermore, Yemen has continued to face significant pressure from key multilateral institutions to implement further economic reforms to garner additional international financial support (most notably reducing food and fuel subsidies). Yet despite attempting to realize that recommended restructurings to the economy in the tandem with better utilizing its notable oil and gas resources, reaching tangible results has been elusive.Yemen’s economy has continued to perform insufficiently to support its people and to engender the wherewithal to address the basic challenges that have plagued Yemen’sdevelopment.

    The Iranian Intervention in Yemen:


    The intervention of the Islamic republic of Iran in the internal affairs of Yemen has been a key reason for the political unrest and the humanitarian crisis. Iran continues to manifest it’s hegemonic and expansionist regional policies by violating the sovereignty of Yemen, fomenting the war, attacking neighboring countries and terrorizing the international navigational passages in the southern Red Sea and the strait of Bab Al- Mandab. 


    - Iran continues to sponsor Houthi militia in Yemen by providing strategical and military support. It provides training for Houthi fighters as well as shipments of illicit weapons and ammunitions in violation of Security Council Resolutions 2216 (2015) and 2231 (2015). On repeated occasions, illicit Iranian weapons have been intercepted by several member states and the Combined Maritime Forces.

    • - These maritime seizures of weapons, including by Australia, France, and the United States of America, revealed shipments of illicit arms confirmed to have been manufactured in Iran. On 4 April 2016, the US 5th Fleet released a statement confirming ''for the third time in recent weeks, international naval forces operating in the waters of the Arabian Sea seized a shipment of illicit arms which the United States assessed originated in Iran and was likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen''. And in November 2016, the institute of Conflict Armament Research, based in the UK, reported that the military equipment intercepted by the Combined Maritime Forces on three dhows transporting weapons in the Arabian Sea are Iranian-manufactured and plausibly derived from Iranian stockpiles. In addition, multiple reports of similar interceptions documented the seizure of considerable quantities of weapons and ammunition, including Iranian-made anti-tank missiles, assault rifles, Dragunov sniper rifles, AK-47s, spare barrels, mortar tubes, hundreds of rocket-propelled grenades, and RBG launchers. Furthermore, the nationality of most of the intercepted vessels crew members were Iranian. The Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014) identified in its 2016 report a range of Iranian weapons seized, mostly on Omani registered vehicles on traffic routes leading to territory controlled by Houthi-Saleh alliance and were destined for Houthi or Saleh forces.

      • - On 12 December 2016, Yemeni armed forces intercepted a truck at the Yemeni- Omani border that was loaded with three disassembled spy drones within a shipment of vehicles spare parts and electronic equipment. This shipment was on way to Houthi forces. In addition, on 28 January 2017, the coalition forces brought down a spy drone that belongs to Houthis in Al-Mokha area, right before Abdulmalik Al- Houthi, the leader of the Houthi militias, announced in a TV statement that his group has already started to manufacture such drones.


        • - Houthi militia fighters have been trained by elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah of Lebanon. The IRGC's and Hezbollah's mission includes training the Houthi fighters to use advanced weaponry they acquired from previously looted Yemeni military stockpiles as well as supplied Iranian weapons and equipment.

          • - The Houthi-Saleh alliance have launched frequent indiscriminate and irresponsible

        • rocket attacks and ballistic missile attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's border resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties and the destruction of civil infrastructure including schools and hospitals. The QAHER-1 rockets and ZILZAL-3 ballistic missiles used in these attacks are produced in Iran as the Yemen Sanctions Panel of Experts determined.


    • - In a recent dangerous development, the Houthi militias, supported by the Iranians with almost identical resemblance to the Iranian military interoperability and tactics previously displayed in the Strait of Hormuz in the gulf, have begun, on multiple occasions, to attack vessels passing the southern Red Sea area. On 1 October 2016, a vessel charted by the UAE was attacked in a clear violation of International Law. On 9, 12 and 15 October 2016, the Houthis, with assistance of IRGC, launched cruise missiles at the USS Mason vessel in the Red Sea. Moreover, on 25 October 2016, Galicia Spirit, the Spanish flagged LNG tanker, was attacked by the Houthis whilst off the coast of Yemen. The Panel. of Experts on Yemen in its report, considered these attacks ''as a threat to the peace and security of Yemen, as such attacks in the strait of Bab al- Mandab and Red Sea area might affect the security of maritime navigation and commercial shipping, thereby jeopardizing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemen by sea, in violation of paragraph 19 of resolution 2216 (2015)''.

      • - In a grave violation, on 31 January 2017, Houthi suicide boats attacked a Saudi frigate patrolling and securing the Red Sea lanes, killing two crew members, and injuring three others. These attacks constitute serious threats to the strategically important international shipping lanes, and jeopardize the exercise of freedom of navigation in and around Bab al-Mandab strait in accordance with International Law and International Law of the Sea.

        • The Panel of Experts identified in its latest report of 2017 that Iran is “in non- compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer, of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bi-propellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles, to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance”.

          • The Panel of Experts also identified strong indicators in the latest report of 2017 of supply of arms related material manufactured in, or emanating from, the Islamic Republic of Iran subsequent to the establishment of the targeted arms embargo on 14 April 2015.

            • -The Panel of Experts indicated that after inspecting the remains of the ’22 July’ and‘4 November’ ER-SRBM in Riyadh, it found that the internal design features, external characteristics and the dimensions of the ER-SRBM remnants inspected by the Panel are consistent with those of the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam- 1 missile, which means that they were almost certainly produced by the same manufacturer.

              • - The remnants of the 4 November 2017 missile launched against Saudi Arabia had markings very similar in design to the company logo of Iranian manufacturer Shahid Bagheri Industries.


                • The Panel of Experts’ latest report of 2017 also indicated that “Iran has not provided any information to the Panel of any change of custody of the ER-SRBM components, the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non- compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of ER-SRBM technology to the Houthi- Saleh forces, an entity acting at the direction of listed individuals”.



                  • - The Coalition to restore legitimacy to Yemen has recovered number of see mines, and the Panel of Experts, after inspection, found that these see mines are consistent in shape and size to the Iranian manufactured “bottom” sea mine, which was first identified at an Iranian Arms fair in October 2015.


                    1. - These evidences, among many others, leaves no room for doubt of the negative interference of Iran in the internal affairs of Yemen and its continuous strategic, political and military support for the Houthi militia, which prolong the war, impede the peaceful solution and jeopardize regional and international peace and security.


                    • - On 20 November 2017, the United States Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated an Iranian network and ForEnt Technik GmbH, an Iranian owned, Frankfurt based company, for their involvement in the printing of the counterfeit Yemeni bank notes.


                      The road to sustainable peace in Yemen:

                      The United Nations, via the Special Envoy, brokered number of peace talk rounds with the aim of reaching a sustainable peace in Yemen. In each and every peace talk session, the Government of Yemen engaged in good faith, making many concessions to end the ongoing conflict while Houthis continued to be obstinate and failed to comply with any of the confidence-building measures. The peace talk process had three rounds:


                      - Geneva, May 2015: In this round, The Houthis went to Geneva but refused to meet the Government delegation. No proposals were presented, and the Secretary-General’s Envoy insisted that no talk will be achieved without a ceasefire.

                      - Biel, December 2015: Although Houthis accepted to talk in this round, their distrust toward the Government led to an unexpected quick end of the round.

                      - Kuwait, April 2016: In this round, the Government accepted the ideas of Kuwait outcomes. However, it was absolutely rejected by the rebels.

                      The government believes that peace can only be achieved based on the three agreed upon terms of reference (i.e. the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanism, the National Dialogue outcomes, and relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular 2216).

                      In mid-2017, the special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed presented Hodieda initiative, which constituted a platform for implementing trust building measures. Despite its reservations, the Government accepted the initiative, hoping to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, all Yemenis in every part of the country. However, the Houthi rebels continue to show their indifference to people’s suffering by abstaining to implement trust building measures or to engage in any peace talks. The international community needs to put more pressure on Iran to stop its support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and to put pressure on Houthis to engage in good faith in peace talks to end the crisis in the country and the suffering of its people.