Monthly Briefing / Aril – 2022

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The Political Scene

President “Hadi” announced the peaceful transferal of his powers to a “Presidential Leadership Council, made up of seven members and headed by Dr. Rashad Al-Alimi. The announcement was an un-expected step that broke the years of Yemen’s suspended state of “sovereignty”. However, debate remains on the pressures practiced against president Hadi, as well as the future of Yemen’s “sovereignty,” and the effect of this surprise change on Yemen’s future, and the track of war and peace.

-Former president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in his penultimate appearance invited the Houthi group to return as a natural component of Yemeni politics that adheres to the national principles of “republicanism, unity, and democracy,” in a speech he gave at a iftar banquet for a number of officials from his administration (4/4).

-The conclusion of Yemeni-Yemeni consultations in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, which were convened from the period of March 29-April 7, under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to draw a “roadmap for Yemen’s future.” (4/7)

-President Hadi released a republican decree that hereby released his deputy Ali Muhsin Salih from his position, as well as a decree to delegate to his and his deputy’s full powers to a presidential leadership council to be headed by Rashad Al-Alimi, a leader in the General People’s Congress Party. The members of the council are: Sultan Al-Arada (governor of Ma’rib), Tariq Muhammad Abdullah Saeh (leader of the National Resistance on the Western coast), Abed Al-Rahman Abu Zara’a (leader of the Southern Movement’s Giants Brigade), Abdullah Al-Alimi (adviser to president Hadi), Othman Hussein Megalli (member of parliament and head of a tribe affiliated with the General People’s Congress Party), Aidarus Al-Zubaydi (head of the Southern Transitional Council), and Farj Salmin Al-Bahsani (governor of Hadramout). (4/7)

The prominent Houthi leader Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi declared the group’s refusal of president Hadi’s declaration to transfer his full powers to the “Presidential Leadership council.” (4/7)

“The Yemeni Gathering for Reform” party, one of the first parties to support Hadi’s announcement, welcomed the formation of the consensual presidential leadership council, declaring that they hoped it would be a beginning of unifying political, security and military efforts to return security and stability to Yemen (4/7).

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United States and other Arab and foreign countries, all welcomed the formation of the presidential leadership council.” (4/8)

The United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, arrived to Sanaa for the first time since his appointment nine months ago. Grundberg held several meetings with leaders from the Houthi group and Sana’a branch of the “General People’s Congress” party that is affiliated with the Houthis. (4/12)

The president and members of the presidential leadership council, the head of parliament, and a number of members of parliament and the shura council, as well as other members of government arrived to the provisional capital of Aden. (4/17)

The presidential leadership council convened its first meeting in the provisional capital of Aden, led by the head of the council, Rashad Al-Alimi. (4/20)

The chairmans of Parliament (Sultan Al-Burkan) and the Shura Body (Ahmed Ubaid bin Daghr) left Aden International Airport, with a number of members of the two bodies, and other political figures, only two days after the swearing-in session of the presidential leadership council, which led to resentment and frustration among some commentators on social media. (4/22)

The presidency of the “Consultation and Reconciliation Body,” a supporting body to the presidential leadership council, convened its first meeting in the provisional capital of Aden, headed by the chairman of the body Muhammad Al-Ghaythi (who belongs to the Southern Transitional Council). The other members of the council are: Abdelmalek Al-Makhlafi (Al-Nasiri organization), Jamila Ali Raja’ (independent), and Judge Akram Al-Amiri (the general security deputy for the Inclusive Hadramout Conference). (4/23)

The Economic Scene

Following former president Hadi’s transferal of his powers, Saudi Arabia announced immediate economic support for Yemen at an amount of 3 billion USD. Of this, two billion will be placed by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates in the Yemeni central bank, in addition to a billion USD from the Kingdom, 600 million of which will go to the oil derivatives purchase support fund, and 400 million for other developmental projects and initiatives. (4/7)  

The Sanaa Petrol Company (affiliated with the Houthi group) announced the raising of petrol’s price in the formal local markets by 27.27%. This brought the price of a gallon of petrol at a capacity of 20 litres to 12.600 rials, that is 23 dollars, that is, 625 rials per litre, after it was previously 9.900 rials (18 USD), thereby increasing the price of a gallon by 2.700 rials (5 USD). (4/11).

The Yemeni Rial saw a retreat in its value compared to foreign currencies in buying and selling, days after it had regained its value in currency markets due to the latest political developments, especially the formation of the presidential leadership council. It reached 926 Rials to the dollar in buying, and 950 in selling, whereas the Saudi Rial reached 245 Yemeni Rials in buying, and 250 in selling. (4/21)

The Yemeni Parliament announced its trust in the Muin Abdelmalek-led administration, more than a year after its formation and return to the provisional capital of Aden. Parliament also announced its support for the government’s general program. (4/22).

The Military Scene

Within the first hours of the military truce entering into force at the beginning of this month (April), military operations significantly reduced with a complete ceasing of sorties by the “Arab alliance.” The declarations of the national army were followed by breaches of the ceasefire by some of the Houthis in all the arenas of combat, in light of the continuing skirmishes between the army and Houthi group in Ma’rib, Al-Jawf, Taiz and Al-Hadida. This led to declarations from the “Presidential Leadership Council” and Ministry of Defense that a return to a comprehensive military solution still remained on the table.

The United Nations announced the beginning of a humanitarian truce entering into force in the country for a period of two months, beginning from April 2022. The truce met wide regional and international acceptance and included the opening of the Sanaa airport, the release of vessels carrying oil derivatives, opening the road to Taiz, and the ceasing of military operations in all of Yemen. (2/4)

The government army fended off attacks by Houthi militias on fronts in the two governorates of Ma’rib and Taiz, hours after the United Nations announced the beginning of the truce entering into force. (4/3)

The national army declared a chain of breaches of the internal truce by the Houthis. The group throughout five days from the declaration of the truce committed 538 breaches, which varied between targeting national army sites with drones and artillery strikes of various calibers, infiltration attempts, as well as setting up barricades and fortifications and sending significant reinforcements to the combat fronts. (4/9)  

The national army once more accused the Houthi rebel group of sending large reinforcements towards the city of Ma’rib and the Al-Jawf governorate, taking advantage of the ceasing of the coalition’s fighter jets raids as a result of the truce, and committing 1,230 breaches of the truce. (4/14)

The Minister of Defense, Lt. General Muhammad Al-Maqdashi headed the first meeting of the heads and directors of various bodies at the Ministry of Defense in the provisional capital of Aden. The Ministry of Defense would previously convene its meetings in the city of Ma’rib after the transitional council took control of the city of Aden in 2019. (4/21)

In the governorate of Taiz, a large drone belonging to the Houthi group fell. The drone was flying above sites belonging to the national army despite the UN-sponsored truce coming into force. (4/24)

The Security Scene

The Security Scene is one of the most complicated and thorny issues facing the recently formed “Presidential Leadership Council.” Especially because the provisional capital of Aden is seeing a security breach due to a lack of coordination between the different military formations spread over the city and the military formations loyal to the transitional council, supported by the Emirates, are refusing to recognize the Interior Ministry.  

The United States of America announced a financial reward worth 5 million dollars for anyone who can give information on Jabir Al-Bana, an American citizen accused of funding the Al-Qa’eda organization. (4/2)

More than 100 days after her imprisonment, judicial authorities in the governorate of Hadramout announced the release of journalist “Hala Fouad Badawi,” with a commercial guarantee that the trial proceedings against her will continue. (4/13)

Ten figures, most of them belonging to the Al-Qa’eda organization, were able to flee from the former central prison in the city of Seiyun in the governorate of Hadramut (eastern Yemen). (4/14) 

Unknown actors destroyed parts of natural gas pipelines from the fields of Ma’rib to the Balhaf facility on the Arabian Sea. The attack happened in the “Nafidha Azan” area in the May’fa district of the Shabwah governorate in Southeast Yemen. (4/24)

The Omani Foreign Ministry declared the release of 14 people imprisoned by the Houthi authorities in Sana’a. The detainees were of various nationalities, three of them British, and 6 Indians, and the rest from the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Ethiopia. (4/24)

The Legal Scene

Throughout the month of April, a number of legal reports have been released on the violations of civilians’ rights, which varied between murder, torture, and being taken hostage, seizure of property, and obstruction of religious rites. Local and international organizations continue to warn against these violations. The areas controlled by the Houthi group (approximately nine governorates) topped the list of violations of individuals.

One young man who was attempting to smuggle Qat was killed and others were injured by a bombing by the Saudi border guards during their attempt to infiltrate the northern border of Sada in the northernmost area the country. This is the third death in a week’s time at the same border. (4/2)

The civilian Ali Al-Tam Al-Hayk was killed, and two others injured, in an explosion from a landmine planted by the Houthi group on a desert path in the Al-Labnat area in the east of the Al-Jawf governorate (Northeast Yemen). (4/2)

The Houthi group in Sana’a imprisoned the director of its military intelligence, Brigadier Huseyn Muhammad Al- Tayabi who had been appointed to the position following the 2014 coup and moved him to an unknown location for unknown reasons. (4/3)

Yahya Nasir Abu Saraj (20 years old) from the Amran governorate passed away one day after his release from Houthi prisons in the Al-Jawf governorate, in which he spent 20 days during which he was severely tortured according to family members. This is comparable to similar cases in the past. (4/6)

The Houthi groups called a number of Imams and mu’ezzins from the mosques of the city of Ibb (central Yemen) to the police station and forced them to sign pledges to delay the time of the Maghrib call to prayer by approximately 11 minutes. Doing so

delayed the time of iftar, or breaking of fast in Ramadan, in an attempt by the group to force their sectarian beliefs, which were resisted by citizens. The group arrested a number of imams and mu’ezzins of the mosques in the Qafr municipality (northern area of the city) after they rejected these demands. (4/6)

The Houthi group imprisoned three citizens, one of them elderly, in the Qafla municipality in the Amran governorate (North of Sana’a), after they refused to install screens inside mosques to listen to the speeches of the group’s leader Abdelmalek Al-Houthi. (4/9)

The Union of Yemeni Journalists announced in its first special report on the violations against free press in Yemen that it had observed 20 violations against journalists in the country since the beginning of January until March 2022. (4/10)

The Houthi group enforced residents and governmental employees in Sana’a and other cities to listen to lectures given by the group’s leader Abdelmalek Al-Houthi every evening during Ramadan, and attend tactical meetings in the capital Sana’a. (4/10)

The Houthi group raided the “fun city” amusement park in the capitol Sana’a owned by the Hadrami investor Salim Bilthawab, broke its doors and kicked out its employees. (4/14)

Rami Husan Muhammad Ghazi (24 years old) passed away inside a Houthi prison in the governorate of Hajjah (Northwest Yemen), three months after his imprisonment as a result of severe torture in the group’s preventive security prison. The group refused to give his family his body in addition to the family not being allowed to visit him during his imprisonment. (4/15)

The Houthi group intensified their Ramadan campaigns to obstruct taraweeh prayers as believed by the Sunni sect followed by the majority of residents in the areas subject to their control. They instead replaced the prayers with daily lectures of the group’s leader, Abdelmalek Al-Houthi. The campaign included dozens of mosques in the capital of Sana’a. (4/16)

The Euro-med Observatory for Human Rights warned the Houthi authorities from obstructing citizens from performing their religious rites in the areas of their control, calling on them to stop their violations of the freedom of religion and conscience. (4/17)

SAM for Rights and Freedoms called on the Houthi authorities to end the limits enforce on women’s freedom in all the areas of their control, chief of which is the freedom of movement, which saw a continual retreat and narrowing that contradicts international law and forms a violation of legal articles which guarantee the freedom of movement without limitations or pursuit. (4/17)

The Houthi leader Khalid Al-Ansur, the appointed director of the “Al-Sawd” area in the Amran governorate (north of Sana’a), murdered his own mother and brother and injured two other people after a dispute between the two brothers on where their mother would stay during the days of Eid. (4/23)

The Houthi group’s female police named the “Zaynabiyyat,” a sectarian name comparable to similar groups in Iran, Iraq and Syria, imprisoned a number of women in the markets of the city of Sa’da with the allegation of shopping without being accompanied by a male family member (mahram), days after the decision was announced through mosque loudspeakers and places of gathering for the governorate’s citizens. The decision included even women-only markets, forcing them to have a male family member of the first degree to accompany them in public markets. (4/25)

The Humanitarian Scene

The besiegement of Taiz by the Houthi group which has continued for seven years was a topic of discussion on social media in Yemen, as well as the statements by the United Nations Special Representative to Yemen, and a number of Western ambassadors, in light of the truce which has entered into force. This is in addition to the difficult humanitarian situation of a large number of Yemenis, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. 

Two families, made up of seven people, including women and children, passed away due to a fire in the crowded Al-Shabwani camp for displaced people in the north of the city of Ma’rib. (4/3)

SAM for Rights and Freedoms called for the besiegement enforced by the Houthi group on the city of Taiz for the past seven years to be quickly raised, making it a priority within the execution of the United Nations-sponsored truce. (4/3)

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) declared that 21.9 million Yemenis were in need of aid in the area of health during the current year of 2022. (4/8)

The family of the disappeared politician Muhammad Qahtan made a declaration refuting the claims of the Houthi’s “Higher Political Council,” Sultan Al-Sami’i, in which he denied that Qahtan had been taken hostage by the Houthis. They confirmed that the group were the ones who had seized Qahtan from his home in Sana’a on 4/5/2015. (4/11)

The United Nations announced the displacement of 30 thousand Yemenis since the beginning of the current year of 2022 and the displacement of 4.3 million people since the beginning of the war. (4/11) 

The French Ambassador to Yemen Jean-Marie Safa called for the roads to the Taiz governorate besieged by the Houthi rebel group for the past seven years to be opened urgently in execution of the temporary truce sponsored by the United Nations. (4/21)

Yemeni Airlines company announced that its first flight had been delayed, which was previously supposed to take off on Sunday the 23rd from Sana’a International Airport to the Jordanian capital, Amman. (4/23) 

General News

Al-Sheikh Husayn bin Abdullah Al-Ahmar, who was a member of parliament, the president of the Solidarity party, and one of the most prominent opponents of the Houthi group passed away. His funeral was held in the Al-Sabi’in square in the center of the capital of Sana’a. (4/1)

The Houthi group released leaders from the “Coordination Council for Civil Society Organizations” in the governorate of Ibb (central Yemen) days after their seizure. The detainees were Anwar Shuab (who belongs to the Bahai faith), Abdulrahman Al-Alfai, and Dr. Hamoud Al-Awdi. (4/2)

Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, a prominent leader in the Houthi group, called for the first four years of primary education to be cancelled and replaced with only teaching the Noble Quran at a rate of five verses a day. This is in line with the group’s continual efforts to cancel education, after the group had previously inserted sectarian content in the previous years. (4/8)

The Houthi group circulated a new schedule for the times of the calls to prayer in the mosques of the city of Ibb (central Yemen), which included a delaying of the time of iftar, within the group’s efforts to enforce their Shia sectarian beliefs in the areas under their control since 2014. (4/13)

The Houthi leader Muhammad Al-Qubli took part in an opening ceremony for the “Badr” Shia militia in Iraq, during a ceremony held by the Iraqi militia on their 41st anniversary. (4/19)


The Yemen Landmine Monitor NGO announced 363 civilians had been killed or injured from  landmines planted by the Houthi group in different areas of the country since January 2021 until April 2022 in the following manner: 176 civilians were killed: 25 of them children, nine women, and 6 employees in mine clearance. 187 civilians were injured, 83 of them children, 12 women, and 2 workers in mine clearance. It also announced the complete or partial destruction of 43 civilian vehicles and 32 motorcycles, as well as 213 livestock (cows, camels, and sheep). (4/5)

The reliable almasdar online website observed the Houthi group’s funerals for deceased during just the previous month of March as being at 459 killed, leading number to rise in the first three months of the current year of 2022 to 2,087, 819 of them in the month of January, and 809 in the month of February. In the first three days of April, it observed the funerals of 38 soldiers as announced by the group’s media channels. Among the deceased, 322 were officers, including three at the rank of Major-General, 10 Brigadier-Generals, 23 colonels, 34 Lieutenant Colonels, 54 Captains, and 57 majors, 42 second lieutenants, 55 first lieutenants, and 34 warrant officers. The Sana’a governorate released the numbers of deceased who had funerals held for them at 221 soldiers, followed by 111 in the Hajjah governorate, and then 24 in the Amran governorate, 23 in the Ibb governorate, 22 in the Dhamar governorate, and then the Al-Hudaydah governorate at 20, the Sa’dah at 19, in addition to seven in Al-Mahwit governorate, and four in the Raymah governorate, and 2 in Dhale governorate, 2 in Taiz, 2 in Al-Bayda, and finally Lahij with only 1 killed. (4/5) 

The United Nations International Organization for Migration declared that 5 thousand illegal immigrants entered Yemen during the previous month of March, as well as the return of more than 7 thousand Yemeni expatriates from Saudi Arabia during the same period. 5,354 illegal migrants entered Yemen during the month of March compared to 8,358 immigrants in February 2022. It pointed out that 789 migrants had returned by boat to Djibouti and Somalia during the same period. During January-March, 19,652 illegal immigrants entered Yemen, and 18,052 Yemenis returned from Saudi Arabia during the same period. (4/11)

The Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations, in a report announced that 1,635 people who had been imprisoned in Houthi prisons had been tortured, including 109 children, 33 women, and 78 elderly, distributed throughout 17 Yemeni governorates over the past six years. 1,427 of the imprisoned had been mentally and physically tortured, including 101 children, 24 women, and 63 elderly, which led some of them to be partially or completely paralyzed. Others were inflicted with chronic diseases, memory loss, and visual or hearing impairments. 208 of the imprisoned had been tortured to the point of death, 8 of which were children, 9 women, and 15 elderly. In Sana’a, there was 430 cases of physical and mental torture of civilians, 12 of them children, 8 women, and 12 elderly, not to mention 48 imprisoned who had been tortured to death, of them 4 elderly and 8 women, 5 of whom attempted suicide inside the central prison after being raped at the threat of arms and severe torture. (4/12)     

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