UN Security Council approves resolution extending Yemen sanctions

The UN Security Council approved a resolution Tuesday extending targeted sanctions in Yemen following contentious negotiations including on whether to refer to UN experts’ findings that Yemen’s Houthi Shia militias are receiving parts for drones and weapons, some with technical characteristics similar to arms manufactured in Iran.

Britain, which drafted the resolution, and the US and other Western nations supported the experts’ findings, but Russia and China objected.

The much-revised British draft voted on Tuesday afternoon eliminated all references to the Houthis and Iran, but Russia and China said their demands were not fully met and abstained.

That appeared to be a surprise to Britain and its Western allies who thought after negotiations into the early afternoon that all 15 council members would vote “yes.”

The resolution does ask the UN panel of experts, whose mandate was renewed, to report on commercially available components used by individuals and entities under UN sanctions, without referring to any party.

The panel of experts reported in late January that the Houthis had acquired such weapons which were used to assemble drones, water-borne explosive devices and other weapons systems.