Letter dated 26 January 2018 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen mandated by Security Council resolution 2342 (2017) addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2018/68) [EN/AR]
The members of the Panel of Experts on Yemen have the honour to transmit herewith the final report of the Panel, prepared in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 2342 (2017).
The report was provided to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) on 9 January 2018 and considered by the Committee on 23 January 2018.
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 Coordinator Panel of Experts on Yemen mandated by Security Council resolution 2342 (2017)
(Signed) Fernando Rosenfeld Carvajal Expert
(Signed) Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne Expert
(Signed) Gregory Johnsen Expert
(Signed) Adrian Wilkinson Expert
Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen
After nearly three years of conflict, Yemen, as a State, has all but ceased to exist.
Instead of a single State there are warring statelets, and no one side has either the political support or the military strength to reunite the country or to achieve vict ory on the battlefield.
In the north, the Houthis are working to consolidate their hold on Sana ’a and much of the highlands after a five-day street battle in the city that ended with the execution of their one-time ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh (YEi.003), on 4 December 2017. In the days and weeks that followed, the Houthis crushed or co-opted much of what remained of the former President’s network in Yemen.
In the south, the Government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was weakened by the defection of several governors to the newly formed Southern Transition Council, which advocates for an independent south Yemen. Another challenge for the Government is the existence of proxy forces, armed and funded by member States of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, who pursue their own objectives on the ground. The battlefield dynamics are further complicated by the terrorist groups Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh), both of which routinely carry out strikes against the Houthis, the Government and Saudi Arabia-led coalition targets.
The end of the Houthi-Saleh alliance opened a window of opportunity for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and forces loyal to the Government of Yemen to regain territory. This window is unlikely to last for long, however, or to be sufficient in and of itself to end the war.
The launch of short-range ballistic missiles, first by forces of the Houthi-Saleh alliance and subsequently, following the end of the alliance, by Houthi forces against Saudi Arabia, changed the tenor of the conflict and has the potential to turn a local conflict into a broader regional one.
The Panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were brought into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo. As a result, the Panel finds that 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 Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bipropellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance.
The Houthis have also deployed improvised sea mines in the Red Sea, which represent a hazard for commercial shipping and sea lines of communication that could remain for as long as 6 to 10 years, threatening imports to Yemen and access for humanitarian assistance through the Red Sea ports.
Yemen’s financial system is broken. There are competing central banks, one in the north under the control of the Houthis, and one in the south under the control of the Government. Neither is operating at full capacity. The Government is unable to effectively collect revenue, while the Houthis collect taxes, extort businesses and seize assets in the name of the war effort.