Monthly Briefing / May – 2024

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Political Scene:

  • The diplomatic efforts to achieve lasting peace in Yemen have hit significant roadblocks. The situation has worsened with the Houthis escalating military actions in the Red Sea and on various battlefronts against the legitimate government. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in the country continues to deteriorate. This realitystands in contrast to earlier announcements of an imminent political resolution.
  • The Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council held a meeting with the UAE Ambassador to discuss economic cooperation and financial support. This discussion took place against the backdrop of the national currency’s continuing collapse and delays in the fulfillment of Saudi and Emirati pledges to support the Yemeni
    economy. May 20
  • On the anniversary of Yemeni Unity Day, the former President of South Yemen, Ali Nasser Muhammad, emphasized the critical importance of Yemeni unity, calling it a historic day. He urged an end to the war in Yemen and discouraged reliance on military force to resolve conflicts. May 22
  • The Criminal Court of First Instance in Aden issued death sentences for eight individuals, including the former commander of the Transport Brigade of the legitimate government forces. Brigadier General Amjad Khaled had previously been dismissed from his position and had his house confiscated by the Southern Transitional Council. May 29

The Peace Process


  • In his briefing to the UN Security Council, UN envoy Hans Grundberg stated that the Houthis are escalating their threats and expanding their military activities in Yemen despite ongoing efforts to develop a road map for peace with the support of international and regional parties. May 13
  • Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak expressed his government’s difficulties in presenting peace proposals. He noted a shift in the Western perspective on the war in Yemen following recent Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. May 22
  • British Minister of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Lord Tariq Ahmed revealed, in an interview with the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, that the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, is serving as a secret channel for negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis. May 26

The Red Sea

  • The Australian government’s designate the Houthi group as a terrorist organization, in response to the Houthis’ ongoing threats to regional and international security in the Red Sea .May 23
  • The United States urged Iran to halt the transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen. They called on the Security Council to intensify efforts to enforce sanctions aimed at preventing violations of the arms embargo.
    May 14
  • The European Union’s ambassador to Yemen, Gabriel Viñales, described the country’s situation as dire and unprecedented. He emphasized support for diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive and equitable peace while condemning the Houthis’ disruption of international navigation in the Red Sea. May 15

Military Scene:

  • The Red Sea region has witnessed a noticeable escalation in tension over the past few days, in the wake of new local and international accusations of Tehran supplying the Houthis with weapons, with military buildups between the government and the Houthi group.


  • Yemen’s Minister of Defense, Mohsen Al-Daari, accused Iran of dispatching ships carrying weapons and experts to the Houthis. He cautioned against their presence in international shipping zones. May 19
  • According to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, Tehran allegedly supplied the Houthi group in Yemen with a ballistic missile, launched from the sea. This occurred alongside the Houthi group’s attacks in the Red Sea region. (The Houthis claim to have conducted over 50 attacks since November 2023.) May 29


  • The Houthi group declared that they targeted three American ships and two destroyers in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, a day after American forces announced that the Houthis had fired two anti-ship “ballistic” missiles. May 28 The U.S. Army reported the successful interception of five Houthi drones over the Red Sea.
    This interception occurred shortly before three Houthi missiles struck a Greek cargo ship. May 29
  • An unidentified drone, suspected to be of American origin, was downed in Ma’rib Governorate’s desert. The drone was targeted and shot down from the ground after covering a considerable distance. May 29

Security Scene:

  • Over recent weeks, security forces in the governorates of Ma’rib and Al-Mahrah have made significant strides in combating terrorism and smuggling. They successfully confiscated drone control devices and dismantled a smuggling ring. Also, they executed a death sentence against a convicted terrorist.
  • The security services in Al-Mahrah Governorate seized 78 drone control devices, at the Sarfait border crossing into Oman. (The controlled devices give the drones the advantage of being resistant to interference, after linking them to GPS devices.) May 8
  • The local authority in Ma’rib Governorate carried out the death sentence of Ibrahim Yousef Al-Wazzan, a “Saudi” accused of belonging to ISIS and committing murders in the governorate. Al-Wazzan had been wanted by Saudi authorities for terrorism-related charges since 2015. May 22
  • The security services in Al-Mahrah Governorate announced the arrest of a smuggling cell comprising 11 individuals who were attempting to smuggle contraband and drugs into a neighboring country. May 24

Economic Scene:

  • The economy is experiencing a critical phase due to escalating Houthi pressure and significant humanitarian challenges, which only intensify the citizens’ suffering and obstruct any prospects for recovery. Meanwhile, the government is implementing new measures to mobilize banks to alleviate these pressures and bridge the financial divide.
  • A report issued by the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden concluded that from mid-2016 to March 2024, the Houthis’ destructive practices in the banking sector included seizing the assets of banks and financial institutions, dividing the economy, and banning the circulation of the new national currency. They also plundered funds, confiscated currency and forced banks to sell foreign currencies at low prices. May 7
  • The Central Bank in Aden confirmed the deadline for transferring the headquarters of remaining banks to Aden was May 31, 2024, while discussing financial developments and international relations. May 20
  • The Central Bank of Yemen urged all individuals, companies and other parties to quickly withdraw the old-issue paper currency, dated before 2016, within a maximum period of 60 days. This move aims to enhance financial stability in the country and cease dealings with banks that have not relocated their headquarters to Aden. May 30
  • The Central Bank of Yemen has stopped working with six major banks in Sana’a because they didn’t move their headquarters to Aden by the May 31, 2024, deadline. The banks affected are Tadhamon Bank, Bank of Yemen and Kuwait, Shamil Bank of Yemen and Bahrain, Al-Amal Microfinance Bank, Al-Kuraimi Microfinance Bank, and the International Bank of Yemen. May 30

Currency Collapse:

  • The Yemeni riyal hit its lowest value ever against foreign currencies, with the U.S. dollar trading at 1,732 riyals for sale and 1,720 riyals for purchase. The Saudi riyal was priced at 453 riyals for purchase and 455 riyals for sale, marking the worst collapse since December 2021. May 19
  • The Central Bank of Yemen announced the sale of two treasury bill auctions, each with an initial value of five billion Yemeni riyals and a minimum interest rate of 18%. This measure aims to provide the necessary liquidity to finance the state’s general budget and enhance financial stability, coinciding with the continued fluctuation of the national currency’s exchange rate below its lowest value against foreign currencies in the exchange market. May26


The Houthi group continues its numerous gross human rights violations in Yemen, as May 2024 witnessed a series of kidnappings, assassinations, torture and other violations.

  • The Houthi group kidnapped an expert in specifications, standards and quality control at the Middle East level. This occurred in Sanaa just hours after he pursued a corruption complaint against the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the group’s unrecognized government. May 7


  • The Secretary-General of the Yemeni Journalists’ (YJS) Syndicate and Assistant Secretary General of the Federation of Arab Journalists, Muhammed Shubaita, was injured in an armed attack while driving his car in Sana’a. His cousin, Muhammad Abdullah Lutf, was killed, and his young son was injured in the incident. Shubaita’s family rejected any Houthi-led investigation into the attack, demanding transparent investigations after the Houthis admitted their members’ involvement. May 7
  • The Houthi group forced academics, professors and employees of Ibb University to participate in intensive two-week sectarian courses, which included training in the use of firearms. The Houthis threatened severe penalties for those who refused or violated this mandate. May 14


Residents of Hadhramaut Governorate held a protest demanding the immediate release of Muhammed Qahtan, a member of the Supreme Authority of the Yemeni Islah Party, who has been forcibly disappeared by the Houthi group since 2015. May 20

  • Five civilians have been killed, and 15 injured, including children and women, in this month due to mines planted by the Houthi group in the governorates of Al-Hudaydah, Taiz, Lahj and Al-Bayda. May 24
  • The Houthi group referred Judge Abdul-Wahab Qatran to the Specialized Criminal Court on charges of “incitement against the leadership of the revolution.” Judge Qatran, a prominent former supporter of the Houthis during their 2014 storming of the capital, Sana’a, was kidnapped and stripped of his immunity by the group at the beginning of January 2024 in preparation for his trial. May 26

Humanitarian Scene:

  • he United Nations said, “Half of Yemeni families (49%) suffer from a significant shortage in food consumption,
    with the food security situation deteriorating in the first quarter of 2024 compared to last year.” May 5
  • The recent donor conference in Brussels failed to meet the urgent needs outlined in Yemen’s humanitarian response plan for 2024. Just 25% of the necessary funds were pledged, putting the lives of countless Yemenis at risk. May 7


  • isplacement During the first week of May, the United Nations documented 282 new cases of displacement, adding to the total of 1,233 families who have been forced to flee since the beginning of 2024. These displacements are primarily driven by security concerns and worsening economic conditions caused by the ongoing conflict that has persisted for over nine years. May 13
  • According to the International Organization for Migration, April 2024 saw 1,479 African migrants entering Yemen, while over 5,000 Yemeni expatriates returned home. However, there was a 23% decrease in the number of migrants arriving compared to March 2024, attributed to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. On the other hand, there was a notable increase in the return of Yemenis to their country, with 5,046 individuals returning in April 2024, marking a 19% rise from March 2024. May 15

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