Yemen is one of the most important areas in the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of about 555,000 square kilometers and a population of 26,687,000 according to the 2015 census. However, it is the least developed country in terms of stability and development.
Yemen has been plagued by a long-running change of government. It has been ruled by kings, sultans, imams, and then by the Republicans. We are reviewing what happened in the recent period of conflicts and interferences since the revolution against the late President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011 up to this day.
Yemen under Saleh’s Control:
Ali Abdullah Saleh was first elected to rule the north of Yemen in 1978. He founded the General People’s Congress in 1982 and headed it even after he left the presidency. He was appointed as president of the Republic of Yemen in 1990, but the unity between the north and the south did not succeed and Yemen entered into a civil war. Yemen has been placed in an advanced position in all indicators of corruption, and accused Saleh of favoritism and the appointment of those close to him in military positions in order to ensure allegiance.
Saleh continued his rule in a conflict with the Houthis until 2011, after the Yemeni revolution demanded his departure from power, where his deputy Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi received the rule.
A Giant Mess:
Since the outbreak of the revolution, Yemen is in a total chaos that has created a negative atmosphere in the region. When the Yemeni people called for the departure of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, crises, political problems and security unrest have been taking place up to these days, despite the success of the revolution in getting him outside from power. The house of the new president, Abdrabbu Mansur Hadi, was surrounded, where attempts to assassinate him failed until he traveled to Saudi Arabia. This could prove that the country still faces hardships covered by agendas that may not allow enabling the peace building process.
The citizens express their dissatisfaction over the war in Yemen and the role of the Arab Coalition, which promised to end the Yemeni crisis. However, it has been three years without any development on the scene.
Yemen suffers from the severe crisis in oil derivatives, which have a significant impact on the lives of citizens and their activities since the revolution of Yemen that began more than seven years ago, where the price per liter of diesel or oil about 300 Yemeni Riyals, while it was about 75 Riyals before the unrest.
Thus, many segments of the Yemeni society were affected by the sharp increase in other requirements including the prices of food, drink and clothing in light of the lack of prestige of the state.
Poverty and Severe Hunger:
After it was called the ‘Happy Land,’ Yemen has recently been the poorest country in the Arab world, as a result of the political changes happening rapidly, where pre-revolution poverty rate was 38.4%, but rose alarmingly after the unrest in the country.
The Studies and Economic Media Center in 2017 published a report on Yemen economic indicators, which affirmed that the poverty rate in Yemen rose to 85% of the total population of 27 million.
The report showed that the living conditions have become tragic. Food prices rose by more than 150% in the first half of 2017 compared to pre-war prices, and are still increasing, “with no back to drawing boards” until today.
The security situation has been deteriorating because of the changes that took place at the time of the outbreak of bringing the regime down in all governorates in general at the beginning of the revolution on November 2011, and the demand for independence in the southern governorates. All that hazing has emerged parties, which expanded exploiting the volatile situation, such as Al-Qaeda and Houthi militia, which led to the imbalance of security system that the government was unable to control because of splits and divisions that had been clear in the government state.
The Yemeni citizen is waiting for an urgent solution for the crisis of the Central Bank and the financial division between the governments of Sana’a and Aden, which caused a sharp deterioration in the exchange rate of the national currency. However, printing of large amounts of the currency without covering that, helped in the collapse.
The exchange rate of the US dollar in the Yemeni market broke 560 Riyals recently, rising and recording the highest level of collapse since the beginning of war in late March 2016, where the Yemeni currency recently lost 160% of its purchasing value than it was before.