In May, a cholera epidemic swept Yemen at terrifying speed. Between the beginning and the end of the month the number of suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) nearly tripled to 70,000, with some 600 associated deaths. At the beginning of June, UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere said that without significant intervention the number of cases could rise to 300,000 “within a few weeks’ time.”
In Aden, political fallout and general unrest continued from President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s decision in April to remove Aydarus al-Zubaydi from his post as governor of Aden. This included mass public demonstrations and the formation of the “Transitional Political Council of the South” – made up of prominent political, military and tribal leaders – with the stated aim of creating an independent state in South Yemen.
Tensions amongst pro-government forces continued in May, notably between Hadi-allied government troops and United Arab Emirates-backed local forces in southern Yemen. In the most severe confrontation, armed clashes again broke out between the two sides at the Aden airport, forcing the airport to close.
Elsewhere around the country frontline fighting continued, though neither pro-government troops nor the Houthi rebels and allied forces of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh made significant territorial gains. The exception was in Taiz city where heavy fighting, accompanied by numerous civilian casualties, resulted in several government troop advancements.
Sana’a Center discussions with United Nations Security Council member states last month revealed the common perception that two years of UN-led efforts to end the war have resulted in no meaningful successes, and that council members do not currently see the UNSC as having any plausible options for moving forward a peace process.
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed publicly put forward a proposal to avert a possible Saudi-led coalition assault on the west coast city of Hudaydah, currently held by Houthi-Saleh forces. The plan involves turning security and financial management of the port over to neutral third-party committees. On the Special Envoy’s three-day visit to Sana’a last month, however, no senior officials from the Houthi-Saleh leadership agreed to meet and discuss the plan.
Also in May, Donald Trump made his first foreign visit since becoming US president, flying to Saudi Arabia mid-month where he signed a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi king. Shortly after, a bipartisan group of US senators launched a campaign to block a small portion of the arms deal related to precision-guided munitions, citing the Saudi-led coalition’s repeated targeting of civilians.
Regarding the economy, Sana’a Center research showed that in the first quarter of 2017, average monthly revenues for the governing authorities in Sana’a amounted to some 26 billion rials, of which taxes accounted for some 70% of budget support, customs revenues 15%, and various fees making up the remainder. Outside of Sana’a – where most public and private corporations submit their government dues – Hudaydah governorate was the largest source of revenues, accounting for 25% of total first quarter public earnings in Houthi-Saleh controlled areas.
International diplomatic developments
At the United Nations Security Council
Throughout May, Sana’a Center meetings with various United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member states revealed the general consensus of opinion that more than two years of UN-led efforts to resolve the conflict in Yemen have come to no meaningful results. The UNSC last adopted a resolution regarding Yemen in April 2015 – Resolution 2216, which the Saudi-led military coalition has used to legitimize its intervention in the conflict – and security council members expect no new resolutions regarding Yemen in the near future.
Over the course of the conflict several non-permanent UNSC member states have at different times expressed an interest in proposing a new resolution and pursuing more assertive council actions regarding Yemen, however these have been derailed. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other coalition partners – including Egypt, which is currently a member of the security council – have been assertive in pressuring UNSC member states against taking actions the coalition deems unfavorable, with UNSC members generally apprehensive about antagonizing Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Among the veto-wielding permanent UNSC members, the United States and the United Kingdom – the Saudi-led coalition’s primary suppliers of military hardware and logistics assistance – have also moved to quash security council actions that would restrain the coalition or implicate its members in any possible war crimes. Thus, through May, several UNSC member states told the Sana’a Center that the council has effectively run out of plausible options to consider and is currently little more than an observer to the conflict.
On May 30, the UNSC held a public briefing session on Yemen, in which it heard from Radhya al-Mutawakel of the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, and Yemen’s UN ambassador Khalid al-Yamani. Mutawakel’s talk represented the first time that the council had heard directly from a Yemeni civil society organization, and in her statement Mutawakel implored the UNSC to take “concrete actions to mitigate suffering immediately,” adding that “what is possible today may not be possible tomorrow. Thus urgent action is crucial.”
This council briefing came on the heels of a May 25 letter, signed by 22 non-government organizations – including the Sana’a Center – to the UNSC, stating that the “Security Council can and must do more to protect civilians from the horrors of cholera, hunger and indiscriminate attacks by all parties to the conflict… the people of Yemen cannot wait any longer.”
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen
Since April 2015, UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has headed the UN’s diplomatic efforts in Yemen, including three failed rounds of UN-brokered negotiations in Kuwait and Switzerland. Though he was reconfirmed in April this year for another six month term, and UNSC President Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay emphasized to the press last month that the council strongly supported the Special Envoy, no UNSC members states, speaking privately, expressed confidence in Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s ability to advance the peace process. In a May 30 statement to the UNSC, the Special Envoy conceded that “we are not close” to a comprehensive peace agreement.
The Special Envoy’s diminished stature on the ground was also apparent last month when, on a three-day visit to Sana’a, he was not met by any senior members of the Houthi rebels or the General People’s Congress (GPC) party of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The UN Special Envoy has been excoriated by Houthi and Saleh-aligned media outlets and anecdotal evidence suggested through May that public opinion of Ould Cheikh Ahmed had reached a nadir.
During Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s three-day visit to the Yemeni capital, an incident occurred that he later described as an “attack” on his convoy and an “assassination attempt.” While not offering further details publicly, the Special Envoy called for an investigation, reminded parties on the ground that they are responsible for the safety of UN staff, and added that the incident would not dissuade him from carrying out his duties. There were conflicting reports of the incident, however, with Houthi-allied media outlets suggesting protesters had thrown eggs and rocks at the Special Envoy’s convoy as it traveled from the airport into the city, and that local security forces had fired shots into the air to disperse the crowd.
The Special Envoy’s plan for Hudaydah
At a press briefing following the May 30 UNSC meeting, the UN Special Envoy outlined his plan to avert a possible coalition attack on the west coast port of Hudaydah, currently held by Houthi-Saleh forces and the entry point for more than 80% of Yemen’s commercial and humanitarian imports. The Saudi-led coalition, and the Yemeni government of President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi it supports, have been seeking United States military assistance for such an assault for several months. However, other UN member states, numerous UN agencies and humanitarian organizations, and government representatives from around the world have pleaded for restraint, saying an attack on Hudaydah would cause the situation in Yemen – already the world’s largest food security emergency – to become incalculably worse.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s plan would involve both security and port management components. These include a military committee to manage the security of the port – composed of army officers who are respected by both warring sides and who have not participated in the conflict – and an economic and financial committee to handle revenues, customs and port management – made up of local businessmen such as from the local Chamber of Commerce. Both committees would receive UN support.
These measures are meant to address coalition concerns that the port has been used to smuggle weapons, and that port revenues have been used to fund the Houthi-Saleh war effort. A central component of Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s proposal is that port revenues would be diverted to pay for Yemen’s public sector workers. It was not clear, however, what incentives the plan includes to encourage Houthi-Saleh forces to hand over the port, with the Special Envoy’s inability to meet with Houthi-Saleh officials in Sana’a perhaps indicative of how the plan has been received. Notably, the Yemeni government issued a statement at the beginning of June declaring its “full support to the proposals and ideas presented by the Special Envoy” related to Hudaydah.
Developments in the United States
Speaking shortly before US President Donald Trump’s inaugural overseas visit to Saudi Arabia last month, Trump’s recent appointee to head the UN’s World Food Program, former South Carolina Governor David Beasley, spoke to reporters in Geneva about the need to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen: “It’s very, very timely that the United States apply all the pressure it can with regard to all parties involved, including Saudi Arabia… We need to reassess every single thing we are doing as to what we can do to bring an end to this conflict.”
Hours after landing in Riyadh on May 20, Trump then signed an agreement for the sale of $110 billion worth of US military equipment to Saudi Arabia, with further sales over the next decade slated to total $350 billion. (Subsequent Brookings Center analysis of the arms deal, however, showed it consisted largely of pre-existing arrangements, as well as letters of interest or intent, but few new contracts.)
In response, on May 25, US senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced a so-called “joint resolution of disapproval” in the US Senate, which aims to block a $500 million portion of the weapons deal related to precision-guided munitions. Speaking to the resolution, Murphy said: “The Obama administration decided against selling precision-guided munitions to the Saudis because there was clear evidence the Saudis were using US munitions to specifically target civilians and specifically target humanitarian assets inside Yemen… These munitions we are selling to the Saudis will be used to increase the humanitarian catastrophe that exists on the ground in Yemen.”
Senate procedures mandate that 10 days must pass before the motion is brought to the Senate floor, however a similarly sponsored measure last year failed to gain widespread support.
Also on May 25, congressmen Ted Lieu (D-Ca.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fl.), both members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the committee chairman urging him to direct the committee to perform its oversight duties regarding the Saudi arms sale. Citing Saudi airstrikes in Yemen on “civilian targets, including hospitals, markets, schools and a large funeral,” the letter went on to question whether such an arms sale would contribute to the administration’s own stated goal, as articulated by Secretary of Defence James Mattis in April, of pushing the Yemeni conflict into “UN-brokered negotiations to make sure it is ended as soon as possible.”
Other diplomatic developments
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Saudi Arabia and the UAE in early May to discuss, among other things, a diplomatic solution to the Yemeni conflict and a more active German role in the UN-led peace process. During her visit to Saudi Arabia, Merkel called for an end to coalition airstrikes in Yemen. Also during her visit, Der Spiegel printed an interview with Saudi Deputy Economy Minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri in which he said the kingdom would refrain from requesting further arms purchases from Germany; this, he said, would allow the two countries to concentrate on other aspects of their relationship.
Developments in Yemen
A cholera epidemic broke out and spread across Yemen at terrifying speed in May. Between the end of April and mid-May, the World Health Organization recorded some 23,500 suspected new cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea (AWD), with 242 associated deaths; as of June 2, UNICEF was reporting almost 70,000 suspected cases of cholera/AWD and 600 deaths. UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere then told the New York Times on June 3 that without significant intervention the number of cases in Yemen could rise to as much as 300,000 “within a few weeks’ time.”
This is the second wave of cholera to strike in less than a year; the first outbreak was much less virulent, emerging in October 2016 and causing a suspected 24,000 cholera/AWD cases over six months. The first outbreak had, prior to the end of April, been showing a steadily declining incidence.
As of May 23, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had reported cases of cholera/AWD in 19 out of 22 governorates and 227 out of 333 districts, including 30 “priority high risk districts”, meaning there was a concentration of more than 100 suspected cases. The most affected areas have been mainly in northern governorates, with the authorities in Sana’a city declaring a state of emergency on May 15.
The Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Cooperation Stephen O’Brien, in his statement before the UNSC on May 30, highlighted that the collapse of basic public services – exacerbated by the incapacitation of central bank in September 2016 – has directly contributed to the cholera epidemic. More than two years of conflict has decimated the public revenues and spurred a government liquidity crisis, leaving Ministries unfunded and most public sector workers without a paycheck since September 2016; as a result, less than half of Yemen’s health facilities are fully functional, according to the WHO, which has led to a lack of healthcare staff and supplies to monitor and respond to the spread of disease. Water and sanitation systems have also broken down due to a lack of fuel and maintenance, leaving some 8 million people without clean drinking water. Trash piling uncollected in city streets and an abnormally heavy rainy season then “created the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of communicable and water-borne diseases,” according to O’Brien.
In attempting to address the epidemic, OCHA stepped up efforts to deliver clean water, sanitation services and healthcare in Yemen last month, including diarrhoea treatment and rehydration centers. In the last week of May, five cargo planes of humanitarian supplies to help address the outbreak were then flown into Sana’a airport, including chlorine, IV fluids and antibiotics.
O’Brien added in his statement that there is a direct connection between Yemen’s current food crisis and the cholera epidemic, in that people who are starving have weaker immune systems and are therefore more likely to contract disease and less likely to survive it. As of May 2, OCHA identified 17 million people as in need of food assistance, 6.8 million of whom are severely food insecure.
In related developments, continued calls by UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs for the Saudi-led coalition to ease blockade restrictions against Houthi-Saleh held areas of Yemen continued to go unheeded in May. These calls included requests to allow commercial flights into Sana’a airport, and for the coalition to release UN mobile crane units that have been sequestered in Dubai for four months. These cranes, destined for Hudaydah port, are meant to restore lost offloading capacity and speed up the flow of basic commodities and humanitarian supplies into Yemen.
Increased tensions and clashes in Aden
Fallout from President Hadi’s decision in April to remove Aydarus al-Zubaydi as governor of Aden continued throughout May in South Yemen. This included mass demonstrations in Aden in support of the ex-governor, and then on May 11, al-Zubaidi announced the formation of the “Transitional Political Council of the South,” with the stated aim of creating an independent state in South Yemen. Al-Zubaidi named himself president, with his vice president being former Minister of State and Salafi leader Hani Bin Breik – who had also been removed from his government position by Hadi’s April decision – with the wider council consisting of 24 southern Yemeni political, military and tribal leaders.
The Hadi government swiftly rejected the council, describing its formation as an act that “targets the country’s interests, its future and social fabric.” Al-Zubaidi then spent much of the rest of the month shuttling between regional capitals in an attempt to garner support for the council, while simultaneously Hadi government Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mikhlafi sought reassurances from regional powers that they would continue to back the government’s position.
On May 21, tens of thousands of supporters of the Transitional Political Council for the South gathered in Aden’s Khormaksar district calling for an independent South Yemen. Southern Movement organizers also capitalized on popular dissatisfaction with the Hadi government related to Aden’s constant power cuts and water shortages. Notable southern political figures attending the demonstration included Aden’s Security Chief Shalal Ali Shaye’a, among the most powerful security brokers in Aden, who is known to be close to al-Zubaidi.
By May 31, tension between the Hadi government and UAE-backed forces again erupted in armed clashes at the Aden Airport, with the two groups exchanging gunfire before Hadi troops were forced to withdraw. The fighting and tensions have disrupted numerous Yemenia Airways flights into Aden, impacting thousands of Yemenis attempting to return home for Ramadan and stranding many in transit airports, such as Cairo and Amman.
Also in Aden last month, the Chinese oil conglomerate Sinopec signed a memorandum of understanding on May 18 with Yemen’s oil minister, Saif al Sharif, to modernise the Aden oil refinery. The refinery has long been beset with challenges related to poor infrastructure, labor disputes and the machinations of competing political interests. The agreement with China came two days after a meeting between the Iranian Parliamentary Director General for International Affairs and the Chinese Ambassador in Tehran, during which the former called on China to take a more active role with Iran and Russia to resolve the conflict in Yemen.
In May, Houthi-Saleh forces launch raids over the border into Saudi Arabia, including a May 10 attempt to seize Saudi watchtowers in the Najran area. Houthi-Saleh forces also continued to claim ballistic missiles strikes both within Yemen itself and into Saudi Arabia, though most are difficult to verify. One notable attack did take place on May 19, with Houthi forces claiming a strike on Riyadh just before president Trump was due to arrive in the country. The attack was corroborated in the Saudi media, with the missile targeting an area far to the west of the capital and being intercepted by Saudi Patriot missile batteries. This attack helped bolster the Saudi narrative, heavily pushed in the runup to Trump’s visit, that frames the Houthis as an Iranian proxy threat in Yemen that receives significant support from Tehran, a claim that is vastly overstated.
Meanwhile, in Taiz city there was a significant escalation of fighting in May. “Popular Resistance” forces loyal to the Hadi government launched a number of attacks against Houthi-Saleh held positions and made a number of territorial gains, including capturing the Taiz University Medical College and the central bank office. As May ended, clashes were continuing over Taiz’s Presidential Palace, which is a significant Houthi-Saleh stronghold. The intensified fighting has resulted in scores of civilian casualties, with Houthi-Saleh forces indiscriminately shelling areas held by pro-Hadi troops, and Saudi-led coalition airstrikes continuing to hit Houthi-Saleh held areas.
Elsewhere in the Taiz governorate fighting continued, namely north of the coastal town of Mokha, and between Mokha and Taiz city, where Houthi-Saleh forces continue to hold Khalid Bin Walid military base against a siege by pro-government forces. Elsewhere in the country, small scale conflicts continued on many fronts with little substantial movement of the frontlines taking place.
Sudanese troop deployments
There was increased deployment of Sudanese troops fighting on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition in May, notably 1,200 soldiers deployed to Al Mukalla city in Hadramawt on May 19, ostensibly in support of counterterrorism operations in Shabwah and Hadramawt governorates. An Aden-based news agency, citing a military source, reported that an additional 3,800 Sudanese troop were soon to follow. The deployment came amid heightened tensions between UAE-backed Hadrami Elite forces and pro-Hadi military forces in Hadramawt. Sudanese troops are largely being based around the LNG terminal at Balhaf, which has been shuttered since the start of the conflict, although significant efforts have been ongoing to resume exports.
On May 8, Houthi-Saleh affiliated media outlets also claimed that Houthi-Saleh forces had killed “dozens” of Sudanese troops in Hajjah governorate, with video footage showing at least 14 bodies wearing Sudanese uniforms. Shortly thereafter the Sudanese government itself stated that two Sudanese soldiers were killed in Yemen.
Of the Sudanese soldiers deployed to Yemen, a recent report by the Small Arms Survey suggested that several thousand are from Sudan’s “Rapid Support Forces” (RSF). The RSF are officially sanctioned paramilitary units that were largely formed from the Janjaweed militias – infamous for their genocide campaign against tribes in Sudan’s western Darfur region in the 2000s.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
In May, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continued to claim numerous small-scale attacks in Bayda, Ibb and Dhale governorates – mainly targeting Houthi-Saleh forces, but also several attacks against UAE-backed Security Belt. Several suspected AQAP attacks also targeted the Hadrami Elite forces in Hadramawt governorate in the western district of Daw’an.
On May 18, the governor of Hadramawt, Ahmed bin Breik then accused Yemeni Army forces based in the governorate of providing assistance to AQAP militants, further heightening tensions between UAE-backed Hadrami Elite Forces and Government of Yemen troops loyal to Hadi.
On May 23, the elite US Navy Seal Team 6, backed by Emirati special forces, launched a raid in Al Jubah district of Marib governorate. According to a Pentagon report following the raid, the buildings targeted were part of an AQAP “headquarters” used to plan external operations, that seven AQAP militants were killed and there were no civilian casualties. Subsequent media and human rights groups investigations, however, reported that at least 5 civilians were killed, including a child.
Also in May, the US Department of the Treasury placed two more Yemenis, Hashim Muhsin Aydarus al-Hamid, and Khalid Ali Mabkhut al-Arada under terrorism sanctions.
Attacks against journalists and activists
On May 15, gunmen assassinated Southern Movement and youth activist Amjad Abdul Rahman Mohammad while he was at an Internet cafe in the Sheikh Othman area of Aden. Extremist Salafist members of the UAE-backed Security Belt forces, operating out of the nearby Base 20, then accused Mohammad of apostasy and threatened his family and local residents against participating in the funeral. Mohammad’s family was forced to bury his body outside of their area.
Security Belt forces from the same base then kidnapped three journalists – two of whom were correspondents for Emirati TV networks – who had gone to the Mohammad family household to offer condolences. The journalists were detained at Base 20, charged with apostasy and tortured. Aden’s security director eventually intervened, leading to the journalists’ release.
On May 26, three more journalists were killed and two wounded during shelling in the east of Taiz city. The same day, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate accused the Houthi forces of having targeted them on purpose, in violation of international humanitarian law.
Human Rights Watch released a report last month detailing how Houthi-Saleh forces, pro-government troops and UAE-backed security forces regularly carry out arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, and torture and mistreat prisoners. Those targeted have included journalists, activists, political opponents, as well as members of the general population and children. Unsurprisingly, the Reporters Without Border 2017 World Press Freedom Ranking, published April 26, ranked Yemen 166 out of 180 evaluated countries.
The UAE and its local allies have come under increasing criticism for suspected human rights abuses occurring as part of their campaign against AQAP. Perhaps bowing to public pressure over the number of arbitrary arrests being made in Hadramawt, on May 23 Governor Ahmed Bin Breik ordered the release of 18 detainees being held on terrorism chargers.
The current dysfunction of the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) and its implications for the wider economy were on display last month. In mid-May, with CBY Governor Monasser Saleh Al-Quaiti away from the headquarters in Aden, major disputes erupted between CBY staff in Aden and the acting governor, eventually forcing the acting governor to leave the office and not return until the Al-Quaiti returned the following week.
With Ramadan beginning on May 26, many Yemenis outside of Yemen have been sending increased remittances back to their families. The influx of foreign currency, and the subsequent demand in the local market as Ramadan began to purchase Yemeni rials (YER) in exchange for this foreign currency, caused the exchange rate for the rial drop from roughly YER 360 to the US dollar, to YER 345 to the US dollar on May 28-29, after which it returned to near YER 360 to the US dollar.
The impact on the exchange rate was due in large part to the general shortage of foreign currency on the local market, and the short-term nature of the new supply resulted in the short-lived fluctuations in the exchange rate. However, the lion’s share of the benefit in the lower exchange was pocketed by local money exchangers, rather than passed on to the general public.
In normal times, the CBY is able to enforce a uniform policy across the country and coordinate with Yemeni banks to absorb increases in foreign currency supply, allowing it to accumulate reserves and supply foreign currency to food and fuel importers. In this way the CBY had been able to hold the exchange rate for the Yemeni rial relatively constant.
Currently, with the CBY divided between Aden and Sana’a and unable to enforce a uniform national policy, local money exchangers were able to coordinate amongst themselves to set a purchase price for foreign exchange at a lower rate than it would be otherwise. Exchangers then held onto this foreign currency – rather than reselling it to the market – until the price increased again, which they were confident it would given the short-term nature of the new foreign currency supply. In this way, the money exchangers pocketed the profit that would in normal times have been effectively redistributed to the recipients of the remittances. (More on remittances in Yemen available here.)
First quarter public revenues
According to Sana’a Center research and financial data gathering, in the first quarter of 2017 average monthly revenues for the governing authorities in Sana’a amounted to some 26 billion rials (equivalent to roughly US$100 million at the official CBY exchange rate of YER 250, and $71 million at the current market exchange rate). Of these, tax revenues collected by the governing authorities in Sana’a and through local offices in Houthi-Saleh controlled areas of the country accounted approximately for 70% of government budget support; customs revenues accounted for 15%, with fees from ministries and public corporations making up the difference.
Outside of the revenues the governing authorities collected specifically in Sana’a – where almost all the large public and private corporations submit their dues – the governorate that is currently the largest source of budget support for Sana’a authorities is Hudaydah, accounting for some 25% of total revenues during the first quarter of 2017.
Due to the current instability in Aden and other government-controlled areas, and the concurrent difficulty in gathering financial data, the Sana’a Center has not yet been able to estimate public revenues in Yemeni government held areas.
- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had, as of June 5, received 28% of the USD $2.1 billion it has appealed for to implement its humanitarian response plan for Yemen in 2017. UN officials continue to to urge donor countries to quickly convert their April 25 pledges in Geneva into cash deposits to evade famine in Yemen.
- In the month of May, 40 vessels applied for clearance from the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM); 37 clearance were issued certification and the average time to issue clearance was 39 hours, an average of nine hours more than the month previous. A total of 707,724 metric tons (mt) of cargo was approved through the UNVIM in May, consisting of 373,918 mt of food, 155,688 mt of fuel and 177,118 mt of general cargo.
This report was prepared by Waleed Alhariri, Maged Al-Madhaji, Spencer Osberg, Ziad Al-Eryani, Mansour Rageh, Tawfeek Al-Ganad, Adam Baron, Victoria K. Sauer, and Alex J. Harper.
Yemen at the UN is a monthly report produced by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies to identify and assess UN-led efforts to resolve the crisis in Yemen. Through this analysis, Yemen at the UN aims to provide readers with an understanding of the international political context that accompanies developments on the ground.
This month’s report was developed in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert Yemen office.