Yemenis continue protests amid currency plunge

Yemeni riyal severely plunged against foreign currencies in the past few days

Yemenis continue protests amid currency plunge

Yemenis staged fresh protests in the eastern Hadhramaut province for the second day in a row on Tuesday against the rising living costs and local currency collapse. 

The Yemeni riyal severely plunged against foreign currencies in the past few days. One dollar is traded now for 600 riyals, from only 513 riyals in mid-August. 

Angry residents set tyres on fire and blocked several streets in the city of Seiyun in the province, according to local residents. 

“Daily life was almost paralyzed in the city as protests continued for the second day in a row,” a local resident told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity due to security concerns. 

According to residents, the city witnessed a state of civil disobedience with stores shutting their doors in protest of the deteriorating economic situation. 

Protests have spread across many Yemeni provinces in recent days, including Aden, Hadhramaut, Taiz, Abyan, Dhale, Lahij. 

On Sunday, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi ordered an increase in oil exports and a pay raise for civil servants as part of efforts to deal with the currency collapse. 

In January, Saudi Arabia intervened to save the local currency by depositing $2 billion in the Yemeni Central Bank, but the move seems to have a little impact on strengthening the Yemeni currency. 

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa. 

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a wide-ranging air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen. 

The violence has devastated the country’s infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”. 

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