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 Treasury Sanctions Political Spoilers Threatening the Peace, Security and Stability of Yemen

Action Targets the Former President of Yemen and Two Huthi Military Commanders

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today sanctioned the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and two military commanders affiliated with the Huthi group, Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim and Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13611 for engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.  

This action was taken in conjunction with the unanimous United Nations (UN) Security Council action on November 7, 2014 to sanction these three individuals under Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2140.  These three individuals have, using violence and other means, undermined the political process in Yemen and obstructed the implementation of its political transition, outlined by the agreement of November 23, 2011, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, which provides for a peaceful transition of power in Yemen.  

All of Yemen’s communities have important roles to play in working peacefully to implement the September 21 Peace and National Partnership Agreement, the recommendations of the National Dialogue Conference, and the GCC Initiative.  This action, which specifically targets three individuals who have used or supported violence and military means to achieve their political aims, underscores the United States’ firm commitment to support the people of Yemen in their political transition process, despite the recent setbacks.  

“The U.S. government and the international community fully support Yemen as it works to implement its economic reform agenda, achieve effective governance, and secure a more representative future,” said Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.  “We will hold accountable anyone who threatens the stability of Yemen and the efforts of the Yemeni people to accomplish a peaceful political transition.”

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; are political or military leaders of an entity engaging in such acts; have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, such acts; or are owned or controlled by, or have acted or claimed to act for or on behalf of any person whose property or interest in property is blocked pursuant to E.O. 13611.  This action today is the Treasury Department’s first action sanctioning persons under E.O. 13611.  As a result of today’s action, all assets of those designated that are located in the United States or are in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.  

UNSCR 2140, adopted unanimously on February 26, 2014, reaffirms the Security Council’s strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, and establishes a mechanism for imposing relevant financial sanctions and travel ban measures.  The UN Security Council’s designation of Saleh, al Hakim, and al-Huthi on November 7, 2014 for undermining the political transition of Yemen was pursuant to UNSCR 2140.

Ali Abdullah Saleh

Per the November 23, 2011 agreement, backed by the GCC, Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down as President of Yemen after more than 30 years.  

As of fall 2012, Saleh had reportedly become one of the primary supporters of violence perpetrated by individuals affiliated with the Huthi group.  More recently, as of September 2014, Saleh reportedly has been destabilizing Yemen by using others to undermine the central government and create enough instability to threaten a coup.  According to a September 2014 report by the United Nations Panel of Experts for Yemen, interlocutors alleged that Saleh supports violent actions of some Yemenis by providing them with funds and political support, as well as ensuring that others continue to contribute to the destabilization of Yemen through various means.  Clashes in the south of Yemen in February 2013 were a result of the efforts of Saleh, Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, and key southern secessionist ‘Ali Salim al-Bayd to cause trouble before the March 18, 2013 National Dialogue Conference in Yemen.

Abdullah Yahya al Hakim

Abdullah Yahya al Hakim has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.  

In June 2014, al Hakim was implicated in plotting a coup against Yemeni President Hadi.   In a meeting aimed to coordinate efforts to take over Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, al Hakim met with military and security commanders, tribal chieftains, and leading partisan figures loyal to former Yemeni President Saleh.

In an August 29, 2014 public statement, the President of the UN Security Council stated that the Council condemned the actions of forces commanded by al Hakim, who overran Amran, Yemen, including the Yemeni Army Brigade headquarters on July 8, 2014.  Al Hakim led the violent July 2014 takeover of the Amran Governorate and was the military commander responsible for making decisions regarding ongoing conflicts in the Amran Governorate and Hamdan, Yemen.  

As of early September 2014, al Hakim remained in Sana’a to oversee combat operations in case fighting began.  His role was to organize military operations so as to be able to topple the Yemeni government, and he was also responsible for securing and controlling all routes in and out of Sana’a.  

Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi

Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.  In late October 2013, al-Huthi led a group of fighters dressed in Yemeni military uniforms in an attack on locations in Dimaj, Yemen.  The ensuing fighting resulted in multiple deaths.  On August 30, 2014, al-Huthi coordinated to move weapons from Amran to a protest camp in Sana’a.  In late September 2014, an unknown number of unidentified fighters allegedly were prepared to attack diplomatic facilities in Sana’a upon receiving orders from al-Huthi.  

For identifying information on the individuals designated today, please click here.


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