Monthly Archives: June 2014

Weekly News Update 20 June 2014

Highlights:
Unable to balance the books
Economist — 17 June 2014
In the midst of a 36-hour blackout the day after, young men set up roadblocks, first in the backstreets and then on the city’s main roads and squares, bringing activity to a halt. “We are here because there is no fuel, no electricity, no water, everything is expensive, there are no jobs and the government does nothing to help us,” says 24-year-old Muhammad Saleh. “Something needs to change.” Abd Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, Yemen’s president, responded with a government reshuffle and announced that more fuel would be brought into the capital from the western port of Hodeidah. The protesters left the streets, but they are likely to return. Government officials gloomily predict worsening shortages—and unrest—in the coming months. The simple fact, they admit, is that Yemen is running out of cash.

How Gulf Initiative has worsened Yemen’s crisis
Al-Monitor — 2 June 2014
The transitional phase in Yemen has made people look positively to the days of former President Saleh. Today, the economic situation has worsened and the armed conflict has increased. Government corruption is spreading because government jobs are handed out on a partisan basis. This raises questions about the legitimacy of the governing parties, especially with the extension of the transitional period without taking it to the people in a referendum, and in the absence of a representative parliament or even a timetable for the transitional phase. That phase has been extended for one year and is subject to further renewal under the pretext that the power-transition process is not finished in Yemen according to the Gulf Initiative.

Yemen’s Torture Camps
Human Rights Watch — 26 May 2014
For decades, migrants from Africa have passed through Yemen to seek work in Saudi Arabia. Since 2010, more than 337,000 migrants and refugees have landed on Yemen’s coastline from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Their numbers rose significantly, and then dipped in July 2013, most likely due to a Saudi crackdown on undocumented migrant workers, only to rise again in March 2014. A multi-million-dollar trafficking and extortion racket has developed in Yemen based on the migrants’ passage. Its locus is the hot and dry northern Yemeni border town of Haradh, where one government official estimated that trafficking and smuggling make up about 80 percent of the economy. Continue reading

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