German minister targets Iran in call for death penalty abolition

Houthi attacks on oil infrastructure ‘driving Yemeni government into bankruptcy’

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s internationally recognized government is on the brink of bankruptcy after Houthi attacks on oil facilities in southern Yemen halted all oil exports, and it may not be able to pay the public employees in areas under its control in the near future, officials have warned.

A government source told Arab News that public employees in the liberated provinces may not receive their salaries in the coming months, adding that the country could experience severe fuel shortages and prolonged power outages following attacks forcing the government to stop importing fuel.

“From next month, the government may not be able to pay the salaries of employees, in addition to the expected shortages of petroleum derivatives used to generate energy, particularly in Hadhramaut, Aden and Shabwa,” he said. said the government official, who asked to remain anonymous. , said.
Last month, the Iran-backed Houthis staged two drone attacks on oil terminals in Hadramout and Shabwa in an effort to prevent tankers from delivering the country’s oil exports from government-held territories to the global market.

The Houthis carried out another strike last week on a commercial port in Shabwa as an oil tanker unloaded fuel, ignoring global criticism, mainly from the UN Security Council, as well as domestic outrage.

The group, which boasted of the accuracy with which their drones hit their targets, said it would only stop hitting tankers and infrastructure in government-controlled areas if the government paid public employees in areas under their control.

During a meeting in Riyadh with the ambassadors of the EU, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to Yemen on Monday, Rashad Al-Alimi, head of the Presidential Council of leadership, warned that the Houthi attacks would worsen the already dire humanitarian situation by fueling hunger, as thousands of civil servants would go unpaid and the government would be unable to finance food imports.

He said for the first time the hunger they had long feared was likely to materialize “in its most horrific forms”.

Despite previously threatening to withdraw from the Stockholm accord and the most recent truce, both brokered by the UN, the Yemeni government has decided not to resume military operations this time to punish the Houthis for attacks. Instead, he asked the envoys to back a package of economic measures to pressure the Houthis to stop their attacks.

The measures would include pressuring companies to move their operations out of Houthi-controlled areas, limiting the movement of goods bound for Houthi areas through government ports, asking international shipping companies to sever ties with ports controlled by the Houthis, to blacklist businessmen who trade with the Houthis, and to cut off the banks that do business with them from the SWIFT payment system.

However, according to some Yemeni officials, the government fears that the international powers and mediators, who pushed it to end its military offensive to expel the Houthis from the western city of Hodeidah in 2018 for fear of aggravating the humanitarian crisis, will not accept the latest punitive measures from the government for the same reasons.

James R. Rhodes