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The Yemen Review, June 2022 Taiz Siege Continues as Talks Face Roadblocks

A child holds up a sign reading "Lift the Taiz siege" on June 8, 2022, during a small demonstration near a main road into Taiz that has been closed for more than seven years. // Sana'a Center photo by Ahmed Al Basha

A truce between the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the armed Houthi movement was extended on June 2 and has largely held, despite intermittent violence and unresolved issues from the original agreement. While the truce has succeeded in limiting violence and facilitated the reopening of Sana’a airport, negotiations over the besieged city of Taiz have devolved into recriminations, fueling concerns that the armed Houthi movement will renege on its commitment to reopen access to the city. UN-facilitated negotiations on lifting the blockade of major roads into the city continued into July.

Yemen’s economic performance over the month of June was characterized by familiar patterns of fuel shortages and renewed depreciation of the rial in government-held territory. The slide was halted by news of a further US$400 million in pledged Saudi financial support, announced as Presidential Leadership Council head Rashad al-Alami visited Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have announced billions of dollars in economic support since the PLC took over executive responsibilities in early April, though it is unclear how much has been delivered as Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are demanding institutional and governance reforms before allowing the Yemeni government to access most of these funds.

Renewed fuel shortages in the south precipitated familiar scenes of long lines at petrol stations. Anger over price hikes and power outages during the height of summer, combined with a perceived failure of the government to implement timely economic reforms, sparked demonstrations in Aden and other areas of southern Yemen. The demonstrations overshadowed Al-Alami’s otherwise fruitful tour of regional capitals, where he secured promises of various forms of support from Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

This issue of the Yemen Review was prepared by (in alphabetical order): Ryan Bailey, Casey Coombs, Ali Al-Dailami, Andrew Hammond, Khadiga Hashim, Abdulghani Al-Iryani, Maged Al-Madhaji, Farea Al-Muslimi, Elham Omar, Spencer Osberg, Salah Ali Salah, Susan Sevareid, Maysaa Shuja Al-Deen, Ned Whalley and the Sana’a Center Economic Unit.

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