UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will consider imposing sanctions if an al Qaeda faction and others fail to stop disrupting Yemen’s transition to democracy after the end of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule, according to a draft resolution.
The draft text, obtained by Reuters, has been agreed by the permanent five veto-wielding members of the 15-nation council - Britain, the United States, France, Russia and China - and is likely to be adopted later this week or next week, council diplomats said.
The council “demands the cessation of all actions aimed at undermining the Government of National Unity and the political transition, including continued attacks on oil, gas and electricity infrastructure, and interference with decisions relating to the restructuring of the armed and security forces.”
If such actions continue, it “expresses its readiness to consider further measures” under Article 41 of the U.N. charter, which allows the council to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on countries and people that ignore its decisions.
Saleh was formally replaced in February when Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was elected under the terms of an agreement crafted by his Gulf neighbours, with U.S. and U.N. backing, that envisions elections in 2014. The military is to be restructured in the meantime.
But the protests against Saleh and fighting among Yemeni factions have allowed al Qaeda’s regional wing to seize parts of south Yemen and Shi‘ite Muslim Houthi rebels to carve out their own domain in the north.
The council’s draft resolution “expresses its concern over the growing number of attacks carried out or sponsored by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”
A split in the military has also led to fighting among rival units and threatened to tip into civil war in one of the poorest countries in the Arab world.
The council expressed its concern at the political deterioration in a statement in March.
Shi‘ite Muslim rebels who control much of northern Yemen will take part in talks aimed at resolving the country’s multiple political conflicts, a Yemeni official involved in preparing for the negotiations said on Tuesday.
The draft resolution “calls upon all sides in Yemen immediately to reject the use of violence to achieve political goals” and “emphasizes the importance of conducting a fully-inclusive, participatory, transparent and meaningful National Dialogue Conference.”
It also stresses that those responsible for human rights violations and abuses must be held accountable and raises concern about children being recruited and used by armed groups and elements of the military.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Paul Simao