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Munir al-Maweri

Yemen: US documents accuse Saleh of aiding Houthis

The Houthis took control of Sanaa in September [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 November, 2014

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US documents sent to the UN sanctions committee on Yemen accuse the former president of aiding the Houthis in their takeover of Sanaa.
The United Nations is deciding whether to place sanctions on former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, following pressure from the United States, documents obtained by al-Araby al-Jadeed reveal.

A letter sent by the US to the UN sanctions committee accuses Saleh of aiding the Houthi movement in its takeover of Sanaa in September, and recommends that Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi, the brother of the Houthi leader Abd al-Malik, and Abu Ali al-Hakim, a Houthi military commander, be sanctioned in addition to Saleh.

The documents show that the US seems to have run out of patience with Saleh, naming him as a primary supporter of the Houthi movement, known for being stridently anti-American. Saleh is accused of being behind attempts to cause chaos in Yemen, and wanted to "create enough instability to stage a coup" against his successor, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.  

"The September 2014 United Nations Panel of Experts
        The ... report on Yemen also alleges that Saleh has been using AQAP operatives to conduct assassinations against individuals.
- US 'Statement of the Case' against Saleh
 report on Yemen also alleges that Ali Abdullah Saleh has been using al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives to conduct assasinations against individuals ... in order to weaken President Hadi and sow discontent within the army and population," the US document added.

The documents state that the September 2014 UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen alleged that Saleh provided the Houthis with funds and political support.

Possible objections

A diplomatic source told al-Araby that the UN committee held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss Washington's request, and committee members had been given until Friday to object.

"The French, Russian and Chinese representatives commented on the American letter, however it is unknown if their countries will officially object to Friday's proposed sanctions," the source said.
        Download the full text of the United States' complaint against the former president of Yemen.


France and Russia suggested that some of Saleh's opponents be added to the sanctions list, the source added. These included Major General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, the businessman Hamid al-Ahmar, and the cleric Abd al-Majeed al-Zindani.

However, the United States rejected the inclusion of these individuals, reasoning that it had provided evidence against Saleh and the two Houthi leaders, while other countries "can do the same" for other figures at a later date.

Saleh's indictment mentions that UN experts from the sanctions committee questioned him in Sanaa. He is said to have denied all accusations, without providing any supporting evidence. 

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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