Monthly Briefing / February – 2023

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Political Scene

The ongoing negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi group in Muscat did not lead to any significant results. This was accompanied by the failure of the intensive efforts of the American and UN envoys and the ambassadors of the European Union to make any breakthroughs in the Yemeni file. Plus, the issue of prisoners and abductees — one of the most prominent issues — has reached a dead end due to the retreat of the Houthis, according to an Emirati newspaper.

– A report by the UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts revealed that the Houthi group is administrating a smuggling network in Yemen and Oman, working to smuggle weapons through areas under the control of the legitimate government. Currently, new cases related to maritime smuggling, trading in spoiled fertilizers and chemicals are being investigated. (2/9)

– The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday to renew Yemen sanctions measures of asset freeze and travel ban until Nov. 15, 2023. The council also decided to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts tasked to assist in the implementation of the sanctions regime until Dec. 15, 2023.

– In a joint statement, the United States, United Kingdom and France affirmed the pivotal role of the Yemeni government in bringing implementable, sustainable peace to Yemen. They condemned the Houthi attacks against Yemeni infrastructure and other measures that threaten the peace process and inflict economic harm on all Yemenis. (2/16)

– The chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council said that he encourages communication between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi group as part of the Omani efforts, stressing that there will be no Saudi-Houthi agreement, but rather it will be between the Yemeni government and the Houthi group. (2/23)

– Yemeni citizens, who were secretly detained and tortured by Emirati forces between 2019 and 2020, in a Balhaf facility, filed a lawsuit against the French company TotalEnergies, the largest partner in the facility, before the Court of Justice in Paris. (2/23)

– Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak said in an interview with the BBC: “There will be no permanent and sustainable peace except between the main Yemeni parties, with auspices of the United Nations, and not between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis.” (2/28)

Military Scene:

The government and the Houthi group continue to exchange accusations and threaten to use military force, with the continuation of sporadic confrontations on several fronts, most notably Ma’rib, Taiz and Al-Dhalea, with deaths and injuries on both sides. The Houthi group was forced to admit to carrying out a prisoner-exchange agreement with Al-Qaeda.

  • Military reinforcements and equipment of the newly formed National Shield Forces arrived in Aden, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2/9)
  • The Houthi group issued a death sentence against 30 military leaders in the national army on charges of treason and confiscated all their money inside and outside the country. (2/13)
  • The Houthi group admitted to carrying out a prisoner-exchange deal with the Al-Qaeda organization, which is classified as a “terrorist” group on international lists. (2/19)
  • The Saudi Duty Forces (808), stationed in the Socotra archipelago, evacuated their headquarters in the archipelago’s capital, Hadibu, in conjunction with the intensification of the Emirati forces’ presence on the island. (2/25)

Security Scene:

The Houthi group is investing in the period of the official and fragile truce to enhance its military readiness, and this is represented in the increase in the smuggling of weapons across the seas and the use of the areas of the legitimate government as transit areas. The reports of the Panel of Experts warned of the danger of this to the stability of the country, in addition to increasing the seizure of several arms and drug shipments in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

– The French naval forces managed to seize a boat loaded with Iranian weapons and ammunition in the Gulf of Oman, which was on its way to the Houthi group. (2/1)

– An American-British military delegation, within the forces of the U.S. 5th Fleet and the joint international forces in the Gulf of Oman, visited the Shehn land port in Mahra, days after seizing a shipment of weapons that was on its way to the Houthi group. (2/6)

– The Transitional Council prevents a joint delegation from the Ministry of Electricity and the Saudi Program for the Reconstruction of Yemen from entering the oil port, in Aden, while signing payment of oil derivatives to support the city’s electricity. (2/17)

Economic Scene:

  • Prime Minister Dr. Said Maeen Abdulmalik, during the World Summit of Governments held in Dubai, said, “Yemen has lost between $800 million and $1 billion as a result of the recent Houthi attacks on oil installations and oil and gas ports in the south of the country.” (2/14)
  • Oil derivatives ships, and others carrying commercial goods, began to arrive at the ports of Hodeidah, which is under the control of the Houthi group, without submitting to the UN inspection procedure, in conjunction with the Houthi authority imposing on merchants to transfer their imports to the port of Hodeidah, instead of the Port of Aden, which is under the legitimate authority. (2/15)

– The governor of the Central Bank of Yemen said: “The $1 billion deposit provided by Saudi Arabia is not a magic solution to the disastrous economic situation, but rather an outlet for the bank and the government to continue economic reforms.” (2/23)

– The report of the team of experts of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on Yemen revealed that the Houthi group has built private companies to finance the war, while continuing to refrain from paying salaries, as the group seizes about 70% of the total resources in Yemen, compared to the only 30% it earns. (2/26)

Humanitarian Scene:

The ongoing war in the country is constantly driving an influx of displaced people, both inside and outside the country. The situation of the displaced in several governorates is further complicated due to the lack of funds and the inability of the governorates to cover some of their needs including Ma’rib — which receives the most displaced people —as the number of the displaced exceeded 3 million people, in a city with an infrastructure that was originally prepared for a population of fewer than only 150,000 people.

Emarat Al Youm newspaper revealed that the ongoing consultations in Muscat, under the auspices of the United Nations, between the legitimate government and the Houthi group have stopped, due to the Houthis’ disavowal of what has been reached regarding the file of prisoners and abductees. (2/4)

– The United Nations Organization for Migration announced that, since the beginning of 2023, the number of displaced people has increased to 6,408, most of them from governorates under the Houthi group’s control, who were forced to flee because of the war, toward the governorates of Ma’rib, Al-Hodeidah, and Shabwa. (7/6)

– The Houthi group announced that there is currently an outbreak of more than 26 diseases and epidemics in its areas of control, including poliomyelitis, which appeared in Saada Governorate, the stronghold of the Houthi group. Note that Yemen had announced that it was free of it in 2005. (2/10)

– The European Union announced the allocation of 193 million euros to help the most vulnerable groups in Yemen. (2/20)

– The Dutch Ambassador to Yemen, Peter Dirk Hoff, visited Ma’rib to learn about the humanitarian situation and the scale of challenges in the governorate that receives most of the displaced. (2/21)

Legal Scene:

  • The Yemeni Landmine Records announced that 74 civilians were killed or wounded during the month of January, in 41 explosion incidents in nine governorates, with Hodeidah topping the number of deaths and injuries. (2/2)
  • Human Rights Watch called on the Houthi group to immediately end their restrictions on women’s right to freedom of movement after the Houthis prevented women from traveling without a male guardian in the areas they control. (2/7)


  • SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties documented the recruitment of 10,649 children by the Houthi group on the battle fronts, the recruitment of 507 children by the legitimate government and its allies (the Transitional Council and the West Coast forces), while the Al-Qaeda organization recruited 54 children. (2/13)
  • The Houthi militia forced pharmaceutical companies in the capital of Sana’a to close their stores, after the companies refused to pay new taxes. (2/25)

General News:

  • Thousands of Yemenis in Taiz celebrated the 12th anniversary of the February 11th revolution, with a massive speech festival, calling for the necessity of patriotic alignment and confronting non-patriotic projects. (2/11)
  • Yemen Airways announced the resumption of its flights between Aden International Airport and Addis Baba in Ethiopia, at a rate of two flights per week, after seven years of suspension due to the ongoing war conditions. (2/16)
  • The Ministry of Health of the legitimate government announced the registration of 228 cases of polio, during the past two years, holding the Houthi group responsible for the return of the epidemic, after declaring that Yemen was free of it 15 years ago. (2/21)
  • The Yemen Embassy in Washington has announced the recovery of 77 repatriations from the United States, where they were smuggled.



Rights Radar for Human Rights documented:

Violations: 13,574 cases, during the period 2015-2021, as follows:

721 killed

1,231 injuries

3,658 kidnappings

1,401 looting and imposing levies

6,253 movement restrictions

310 obstruction of humanitarian aid.

  • Al-Bayda governorate (2,521), Taiz (1,580), Ibb (1,288), the interim capital of Aden (1,144), Dhamar (867), Al-Hodeidah (718), Lahj (585), Al-Dhalea (412).

As for the authorities responsible for the violations:

First place, Houthi group:

Murders: 553 total, including 59 children, 26 women and 42 elderly.

Wounded: 904 total, including 119 children, 67 women and 40 elderly.

Kidnapping: 2,901 total, most of them in the areas of the Houthi group (excluding Hadhramaut), 135 children, 86 women and 108 elderly.

Second place, Military components outside the framework of the state:

These include the support brigades affiliated with the Security Belt Forces of the Transitional Council in the governorates of Aden, Abyan, Al-Dhalea and Lahj, in addition to the elite forces in the governorates of Hadhramaut and Shabwa, and the joint forces in the western coast supported by the UAE.

These formations are responsible for 666 civilians, who were kidnapped and detained, and 25 of them were tortured, including 19 elderly, 20 children and 5 women.

responsible for 866 cases of the restriction of freedom of movement in areas under the control of the legitimate government, by creating 102 checkpoints and security barriers and preventing 764 travelers from entering the southern governorates and some northern areas under its control.

Third place: Al-Qaeda:

Responsible for 458 violations.

Fourth place: The legitimate government:

Responsible for 369 violations in 11 governorates, most notably Taiz, Al-Dhalea, Hadramout, Aden, Shabwa and Ma’rib. (2/5)


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