Yemen Country Report
Yemen is currently embroiled in a civil war between the Houthi Movement and the internationally recognised government, supported by Saudi-led military forces. Despite the increasing Saudi and Houthi interest in ending the conflict, the prospects for an expedited deal capable of ending the civil war are low. In September 2018, the UN failure to convene a new round of peace talks between the warring sides was followed by a resumption of the Saudi-led offensive aimed at capturing Hodeidah. Jihadist activity has expanded unchecked across south and central Yemen as a result of the vacuum of state authority. Similarly, pro-secessionist sentiments across southern Yemen are continuing to grow.
The ongoing civil war is a major obstacle to investment in Yemen. Foreign companies entering the country have to factor in severe risks to personnel and property, although the intensity of such challenges vary considerably by province, with potential future partition between the north and south key areas of risk. Severe operational obstacles also exist in the form of poor infrastructure, with frequent and prolonged electricity shortages, and an underdeveloped and poor-quality road network.
Since January 2018, the UAE has intensified its operations in southern Yemen aimed at degrading AQAP's presence in the area. UAE-led efforts have followed a two-fold approach: first, restoration of a measure of authority in those cities under its control and, second, mounting clearing operations from there aimed at dislodging AQAP and intended to progressively expand the area controlled by its local proxies. However, AQAP's ongoing attacks against UAE-backed forces, coupled with renewed Islamic State activity in Aden and Bayda, point to a still-fragile risk environment across southern provinces that calls into question UAE claims that its counter-terrorism operations have greatly degraded the jihadists' capabilities.
The collapse of the UN-sponsored peace talks in September 2018 has led to an escalation of the conflict. The coalition has attempted to seize the momentum and prioritised the creation of a common front against the Houthis that is spearheading a ground offensive aimed at capturing the port city of Hodeidah and advance in northern and central Yemen. Meanwhile, the Houthi have launched ballistic missiles into Saudi territory with greater frequency. A political compromise is highly unlikely if not under Saudi's terms, which include the Houthis' withdrawal from Sanaa and Hodeidah.
As long as Houthi militias remain in Sanaa, protests against the movement are likely to recur in Yemeni cities, with a high risk of Houthi militia dispersing public gatherings with lethal force. Protests carry severe risks of triggering localised confrontations with Houthi supporters involving small-arms fire, especially when staged in conjunction with pro-Houthi demonstrations. Similarly, the risk of economically driven protests and pro-independence protest marches across southern provinces, especially Abyan, is likely to increase in in the six-month outlook.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No country requirement.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Due to the ongoing conflict, Sana'a's El Rahaba International Airport (SAH) is only open to humanitarian and military flights and those with specific authorization. It is subject to closures on short notice.
Main roads are in good condition but can be dangerous in rainy weather and at night. It is strongly advisable to hire a chauffeur car. Fuel shortages are common.
Piracy threatens all those traveling by sea along the Yemeni coast. The Gulf of Aden as a whole remains very unstable as a result of the structural weakness of Yemen and its neighboring states. Emirati and American ships have also been targeted by missiles, likely launched from Houthi land positions.
Yemen, with the exception of the desert zones in the north and the east of the country, experiences a rainy season which lasts from March until August. The climate is hot and humid along the coast and can be very unpleasant in July and August. Conditions are the most pleasant between December and February. Along the reliefs, temperatures are more temperate with humid summers and dry winters. At high elevations (2000 meters), temperatures vary considerably between day and night.
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