Dominica: Sale of passports to nationals of Yemen suspended


Published: 21 January 2024

Dominica has suspended the processing of all new applications for Dominican passports for nationals of Yemen. The suspension took effect on January 19, 2024, as a memo from Marie Therese-Johnson, Director of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit, dated January 15 shows.

“This measure is geared at safeguarding the global community and the integrity of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Program,”  the memo, which was addressed to all authorized agents of Dominica’s passports, reads.

It continued, “All Authorized Agents are requested to disseminate the information outlined above to all relevant parties including clients, licensed promoters, and sub-agents to ensure all promotional materials [are] updated accordingly.”

Agents were urged to contact the Citizenship by Investment Unit for any inquires about the matter.

Yemen, which is located in the Middle East, has been in the grip of a civil war that began in 2014 when Houthi rebels, who are largely Shiite Muslims and who have a history of rising against the Sunni Muslim government, took control of the country’s capital Sanaa. Backed by Iran they began demanding lower fuel prices and a new government.

A series of negotiations followed but they all failed and the Houthi rebels seized the presidential palace in January 2015, leading President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to resign. Following these events, a coalition of Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia launched a campaign of air strikes and economic isolation against them to restore full power to the Yemeni government. Thousand of civilians have been killed.

Since 2023, fighting between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition has largely subsided but the rebels control a large swathe of the country, including the capital.

Yemen was thrust into the news again when the Houthis began attacking ships passing through the Red Sea saying that it was their response to Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In response, the Joe Biden administration in the United States last Wednesday re-designated the Houthis a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist group” (SDGT). The Houthis were first named a terrorist organization by the Donal Trump administration but it was lifted by Biden shortly after taking office arguing it would hinder humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.

In the re-designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that their attacks against maritime vessels, and also US ships, “fit the textbook definition of terrorism.”

“They have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised global trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” he said.

It is a serious crime to provide support or do business with a group that has been blacklisted as a SDGT.

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