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 Treasury Sanctions Instigators of the Violent Takeover of Yemen


4/14/2015
 
Action Targets Leader and Key Supporter of Houthi Rebels
 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today sanctioned the leader of the Houthi movement (also known as Ansar Allah), Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and a key supporter of the Houthis, Ahmed Ali Saleh, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13611 for being a political or military leader of a group that has engaged in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen and for engaging in such acts, respectively.  The OFAC action complements the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) action today to sanction these two individuals under Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2140.  Using violence and other means, al-Houthi and Saleh continue to undermine the political process in Yemen and obstruct the peaceful transition of power in Yemen despite repeated calls from the international community that they desist from their destabilizing actions.
 
The international community has stressed through the UNSC and in other fora that the violent takeover of Yemen by an armed faction is unacceptable and that a legitimate political transition – long sought by the Yemeni people – can be accomplished only through political negotiations and a consensus agreement among all of the parties.  All of Yemen’s communities have important roles to play in working peacefully to implement the recommendations of the National Dialogue Conference, and the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative. 
 
“The United States condemns the assault by the Houthis and their allies on the Yemeni state,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin.  “The U.S. designations today and the related United Nations action demonstrate that the international community stands in solidarity with the Yemeni people and will hold accountable those who undermine its democratic aspirations.”
 
Signed on May 16, 2012, E.O. 13611 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to sanction those who have engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.  This action today is OFAC’s second action sanctioning persons under E.O. 13611.  As a result of today’s action, these individuals’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with these individuals. 
 
Abdul Malik al-Houthi
 
Abdul Malik al-Houthi is a political or military leader of a group that has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen. 
 
In September 2014, Houthi forces captured Sanaa and, in January 2015, they attempted to unilaterally replace the legitimate government of Yemen with an illegitimate governing authority that the Houthis dominated.  Al-Houthi assumed the leadership of Yemen’s Houthi movement in 2004 after the death of his brother, Hussein Badredden al-Houthi.  As leader of the group, al-Houthi has repeatedly threatened Yemeni authorities with further unrest if they do not respond to his demands and detained Republic of Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, Prime Minister Khaled Mahafoudh Bahah, and key cabinet members.  Hadi subsequently escaped to Aden.  The Houthis then launched another offensive towards Aden assisted by military units loyal to former Republic of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his son, Ahmed Ali Saleh.
 
Ahmed Ali Saleh
 
Ahmed Ali Saleh has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, and stability of Yemen.
 
Saleh has been working to undermine President Hadi’s authority, thwart Hadi’s attempts to reform the military, and hinder Yemen’s peaceful transition to democracy.  Saleh played a key role in facilitating the Houthi military expansion.  As of mid-February 2013, Saleh had issued thousands of new rifles to Republican Guard brigades and unidentified tribal shaykhs.  The weapons were originally procured in 2010 and reserved to purchase the loyalties of the recipients for political gain at a later date.
 
After Saleh’s father, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, stepped down as President of Yemen in 2011, Saleh retained his post as commander of Yemen’s Republican Guard.  A little over a year later, Saleh was dismissed by President Hadi but he retained significant influence within the Yemeni military, even after he was removed from command.  Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was designated by the UN under UNSCR 2140 and Treasury under E.O. 13611 in November 2014.
 
For identifying information regarding the individuals designated today, click here.
 
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