The recently formed Yemeni government pursuant to the Riyadh Agreement is expected to face complex economic challenges that may paralyse its ability to fulfill the aspirations and hopes placed on it. The most important of those challenges are the significant decline in the Yemeni riyal exchange rate, and the difficulty of paying the salaries of public sector employees.
The United Nations (UN) and the Houthi Ansar Allah group in Yemen announced, in the last week of November 2020, that they have reached an agreement to conduct "urgent maintenance" and "comprehensive evaluation" of the Safer oil tanker, which is floating off the Port of Ras Isa in Hodeidah Governorate, in the west of the country.
On 10 January 2021, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that his Department intends to notify Congress of its intention to designate the Houthi Ansar Allah (Supporters of God) group as a "foreign terrorist organization" (FTO). In the same statement, which was posted on the website of the Department of State, he also announced his intention to designate three Houthi leaders, namely Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, on the list of international terrorists.
The US Secretary of State pointed out that the designations “will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by [Ansar Allah]”. It is also intended “to hold [Ansar Allah] accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping”. He also added that the designations are “intended to advance efforts to achieve a peaceful, sovereign, and united Yemen that is both free from Iranian interference and at peace with its neighbors”. These sanctions are scheduled to take effect on 19 January 2021, the day before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
This paper sheds light on the state of the coronavirus epidemic in Yemen, and whether this country has really passed the risk stage. The paper also reviews the nature of the Yemeni authorities' response (the legitimate government and the Houthis) to the pandemic and fears of a resurgence of the epidemic in the country.
From the initial crisis surrounding political transition, and through the ensuing war, the United Nations (UN) has played a variety of roles in Yemen, under its mandate from the international community.
The political role of traditional parties and groups in Yemen has diminished during the course of the ongoing conflict; some have splintered into separate groups and many have lost much of their structural and organizational capabilities.
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