Letter dated 22 January 2016 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen - Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014) (S/2016/73) [EN/AR]
The members of the Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014) have the honour to transmit herewith the final report of the Panel, prepared in accordance with paragraph 5 of resolution 2204 (2015).
In this connection, we would appreciate it if the present letter and the report were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.
(Signed) Ahmed Himmiche
Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014)
(Signed) Nicolás Dapena Fernández
(Signed) Virginia Hill
(Signed) Lucy Mathieson
(Signed) Joel Salek
Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014)
The final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014) and extended pursuant to resolution 2204 (2015) provides an analysis of the implementation of the sanctions measures imposed under resolution 2140 (2014), comprising the asset freeze and the travel ban, and the targeted arms embargo imposed under resolution 2216 (2015) for the period since its appointment on 7 April 2015 until the date of the present report. It also provides an outline of the Panel’s findings and presents 15 recommendations to the Security Council and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) to improve the implementation of the relevant measures.
The Panel has visited 16 countries since its appointment. It met the President of Yemen, Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour, and other officials of the legitimate Government of Yemen in Saudi Arabia. The Panel has made several attempts to travel to Yemen, but officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the control of the Houthis, who initially agreed to receive the Panel, have yet to give final clearance to enter the country.
The Panel has noted that the Houthis, acting in consort with their affiliated political organization, Ansar Allah, have gradually assumed control of State institutions and brought about the current crisis. By a constitutional declaration of 6 February 2015, Ansar Allah established bodies to assume responsibilities that lie exclusively within the prerogative of the legitimate Government of Yemen.
The Panel has observed that not a single humanitarian pause to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people has been fully observed by any Yemeni party or by the coalition. By their failure to engage in good faith, the Yemeni parties to the conflict and all participants in the United Nations-brokered consultations, including members of the Sana’a and Riyadh delegations, bear responsibility for obstructing the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of the political process.
In 2015, the Panel observed an increasing degree of integration between the Houthi forces and the remnants of specialized military units formerly under the control of the former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh (YEi.003), and his family. The Panel believes that the Houthi-Saleh forces constitute a new hybrid armed group, with roots in the traditional social elites in the north. By contrast, the composition of the resistance forces is highly localized and reflects specific social conditions and political priorities in contested areas.
The Panel has identified a new trend in the mobilization of armed Salafist groups in resistance-held urban areas, especially in Aden and Ta‘izz city. Many Salafist groups have become more extreme in response to Houthi-Saleh assaults on civilian areas, and Salafist preachers have mobilized local supporters through neighbourhood mosques. The growing presence in Yemen of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has contributed to increasingly sectarian perspectives, which also galvanizes Salafist groups and supporters of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Panel has noted a pattern of diversion of weapons and military support by regular units of the Yemeni army to Houthi-Saleh forces acting on behalf and under the direction of individuals designated by the Committee for being in violation of resolution 2216 (2015): Abdulmalik al-Houthi (YEi.004) and Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Panel has observed that the supply of weapons to resistance forces by the coalition without due measures being taken to ensure accountability is also contributing to a destabilizing accumulation of arms in Yemen.
The Panel believes that well-established arms smuggling networks predating the outbreak of the current conflict have continued to operate in 2015, exploiting opportunities created by the disbanding of military units and the proliferation of armed groups and militias. The Panel is investigating a case of a potential transfer of anti-tank guided missiles to Houthi-Saleh forces following the seizure, on 25 September, of an arms shipment on a dhow off the coast of Oman. The Panel inspected the missiles and associated equipment, currently in United States custody, and noted that they originated from the Islamic Republic of Iran and had characteristics similar to those that began to be seen in the media in August in possession of the Houthis.
The Panel has identified some sources of revenue used by the Houthi-Saleh forces to finance military operations. In addition, it traced assets to the value of $48.8 million belonging to two sanctioned individuals, Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh (YEi.005). It identified two financial networks used to circumvent the asset freeze. It continues to investigate potential cases relating to individuals and entities acting on their behalf or at their direction. It continued to monitor possible breaches of the travel ban by all sanctioned individuals. In September, the Panel received oral confirmation from the authorities of the United Arab Emirates that Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh was in their territory.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen has had a devastating impact on civilians. Beyond the widespread and systematic use of indiscriminate air strikes and shelling, and an increase in child recruitment, the blockade of commercial goods entering the country and the siege of Taʽizz have limited not only the ability of hospitals and humanitarian actors to operate and respond to the situation, but also the ability of people to be able to sustain themselves.
The security situation has created significant obstacles to the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance, attributable to widespread violations of international humanitarian law and systematic and serious breaches of civil and political rights. The situation has cumulatively compounded and reinforced a diminished space for humanitarian action. The Panel has noted that civilians are disproportionately affected by the conduct of hostilities owing to the widespread and systematic use of tactics that practicably, and in certain cases directly, constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare.