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Yemenis protest in Aden as local currency plunges

September 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm

People come together to protest the rising cost of living in Aden, Yemen [Summer Ahmed/Twitter]

Angry demonstrators on Sunday blocked a number of main roads in Yemen’s southern Aden province in protest of the rising cost of living as a result of the depreciating local currency.

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.

According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, protesters blocked several roads in the cities of Mualla, Sheikh Othman, Al Mansoora, Khormaksar, Al-Shab and Brega.

Similar demonstrations are expected in other Yemeni provinces amid tough economic conditions in the war-torn country.

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.

Read: 450 civilians killed in Yemen in first nine days of August, confirms UNHCR

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”.