UNSC Resolution: Key Features and Implications for Yemen Crisis

UNSC Resolution: Key Features and Implications for Yemen Crisis

Q. “UNSC’s Resolution 2201 demanding unconditional withdrawal of Houthis from Yemen is not enough to resolve the crisis.” Discuss the main features of the resolution and the extent to which it can mitigate the Yemen crisis.

UNSC/United Nations Security Council Resolution 2201: Chief Features

• This resolution demands immediate as well as unconditional withdrawal of the Houthis from the government institutions in Yemen
• Resolution brought following warning by UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon that Yemen would fall apart under the weight of the protracted political crisis
• Regional concerns such as secessionist tendencies in the south were also the reason for this resolution
• Massive attacks by Al-Qaida are another reason why UNSC Resolution 2201 has been passed
• Acute humanitarian crisis has also precipitated Resolution 2201
• Resolution 2201 called to escalate efforts for dispute resolution via dialogue that is inclusive and implementation of agreements based on Gulf Cooperation Council initiatives
• The resolution is also based on the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference as well as the Peace and National Partnership Agreement mediated by the UN
• Resolution urges different sides in the conflict to end all hostilities and violent acts
• Aim is to renounce provocations and take steps to undo political instability
• Resolution makes provision for the need to agree to deadlines for completion of work on a draft constitution and holding referendum and subsequent elections on the basis
• Resolution emphasizes the needs for collective efforts to counter terror threat
• Resolution seeks to find a comprehensive formula for national reconciliation and political settlement which is long term
• Democratic transformation of Yemen society aimed for in relation to bilateral and international resolution

Highlights of Resolution 2201

• The resolution demands the safe release of President And Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and others
• It also holds that Houthis should engage in UN brokered negotiations in good faith and work towards democratic transition
• The council also deplored action by Houthis who had gained control of Sana’a in September
• UNSC has urged the rebels to refrain from dissolution of Parliament and taking over government institutions
• Resolution also urged parties to come together and announce dates for the completion of the constitutional consultation process
• It also stresses holding referendum for text and conducting elections as per the new electoral law
• UNSC resolution has also called upon parties such as the Houthis to abide by the GCC initiative and look to resolution of the present democratic crisis
• Council also demanded parties to stop armed hostilities against persons and legitimate authorities of Yemen
• They also work towards relinquishment of arms seized from security and military institutions
• Council resolution also asks the Secretary General to prepare options for strengthening the office of the UN Special Adviser for resolving this crisis
• Secretary General also proposed options on UN assistance for finalisation and adoption of the Yemen constitution whilst carrying out electoral reforms and holding general elections

About the Yemen Crisis

• Yemen has been facing unrest for months and there has been fighting between Houthis militia and Yemen government
• Houthis are Shia Muslims and follow a branch of religion called Zaidism
• They have been undertaking periodic uprisings since the year 2004 in a bid to win greater autonomy for the northern Saada province heartland
• Houthis secured control of Saada in 2011 and forced President Saleh to resign
• They caught control of Sana’a in September 2014. Aim is to install the Zaidi Imamate eventually

Key Provisions of the Resolution

• In light of resolutions 2014, 2051 and 2140 as well as presidential statements in February and August were recalled by the UNSC in its resolution
• UNSC reaffirmed strong commitment to unity, independence and sovereignty as well as independence and territorial integrity of Yemen
• Support for the Gulf Cooperation Council and commending engagement for assisting political transition in Yemen
• Unilateral actions opted for by the Houthis was also deplored
• Yemen government’s institutions to be supported against an escalated situation where acts of violence have been committed by the Houthis and their supporters
• The political transitional progress agreed to by the parties was also stressed
• Resolution also expressed grave concern over use of child soldiers by the rebel Houthis forces
• Importance of all parties to enable Yemenis to assemble peaceably without fear of any type of attack
• Considerable economic, security and social challenges faced by Yemen leaving many in acute need and in humanitarian crisis also emphasised
• Finding a peaceful, inclusive and orderly solution to the Yemen led political transition process
• Legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemen people to be met for peaceful change and effective reform
• Condemnation of the rising number of attacks carried out by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula
• The resolution also called for all parties in Yemen to stick to resolving their differences via dialogue and consultation, combat acts of violence as a means of securing political goals and stay away from provocation and unilateral actions which will undermine political transition
• Deep concern over takeover by Houthis of state media outlets and rejection of media to incite violence
• All parties including Houthis must accelerate inclusive UN brokered negotiations to continue political transition and reach a consensus solution
• All parties should also agree upon and make announcements for dates for completing the constitutional consultation process for holding a referendum on the constitution and conducting elections under fresh electoral law based on the new constitution
• Demand for Houthis to unconditionally and immediately engage in UN brokered negotiations and move forces away from Sana’a and mediate the security situation within the capital as well as other provinces
• The resolution also calls for refraining against external interference to foment conflict and instability and support the political transition
• Calling parties to abide by commitments to protect diplomatic communities and premises
• Secretary General should continue his good office role as per the resolution
• Further request should be made that the Secretary General should continue coordination for assistance from the international community to facilitate the transition
• Enable fulfilling the mandate including UN assistance for finalisation and adoption of the draft constitution, taking on electoral reform, upholding general elections and creation of mechanisms for disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration plus security sector reform
• Secretary General should report on the implementation of the resolution and persist in reporting on developments in Yemen regarding the crisis

Implications For Restoration of Peace and Democracy in Yemen

• Resolution 2201 has ensured that rebels should refrain from further unilateral actions that can undermine political transition and security of the nation
• Quick action following collapse of Yemen under the impact of the protracted political crisis
• Council also urged all parties to publicly announce dates for completing the constitutional consultation: further building block for the peace process
• All parties especially the Houthis would have to abide by the resolution
• Resolution also calls for cessation of armed hostilities against people and legitimate authorities of Yemen
• Arms should be relinquished: UN body will be laying the base for non-confrontation
• UNSC united in preventing Yemen from collapsing into a civil war again
• Long term political solutions sought and encouragement of Yemeni led political transition process


It will take a lot to prevent the Yemen crisis from escalating further, but UNSC led resolution and peace efforts are a good way forward. This can lead to more effective interventions contributing to lasting peace in this region.
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