The United Nations Security Council on Friday slapped targeted sanctions against a former Yemeni president and two Shia tribal leaders for threatening the stability of the country and impeding its democratic transition.
The Council authorised assets frozen and travel ban measures on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi military leaders Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim.
Saleh is said to be an ally of the Shia Houthi tribesmen, who took over the capital of Sanaa in September and have extended their grip on the country ever since.
The Security Council threatened sanctions in February against individuals who hampered the country’s political process, without naming any specific individuals.
Earlier in Friday, Saleh’s backers demonstrated in Sanaa to show support for the ousted leader amid rumors that the US had threatened him with international sanctions.
The rally was in response to calls by Saleh’s General People’s Congress party after a US diplomat in Sanaa was allegedly quoted as saying that Washington had told the former president to leave the country or face international sanctions.
Yemen has been dogged by political turmoil since a popular uprising that erupted in 2011 toppled Saleh a year later, ending his 33-year rule. He was the first president of the country after unification in 1990.
The latest wave of tribal uprising is led by the minority Houthi rebels from the north and has left dozens dead.
The growing Houthi influence has pitted the Shia tribe against al-Qaida, which is said to remain active in the politically fractious country.