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. The collapse of the alliance between the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed by Houthi militants on 4 December 2017, makes a political compromise to end the conflict highlyunlikely. Jihadist activity has expanded unchecked across the south and central Yemen as a result of the vacuum of state authority. Similarly, in the southern port cities of Aden and Mukalla, historically fragmented southern secessionists will probably consolidate their ranks, as well as fuel escalating separatist and jihadist insurgencies against Sanaa or coalition-allied forces.
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.
The worsening security situation in Yemen, the erosion of central authority, and the fragmentation of the Yemeni army will likely continue to give Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) unrestricted freedom of manoeuvre across southern and central Yemen and enable the Islamic State to increase its operational capabilities. Competition between AQAP and the Islamic State is also likely to translate into an increase in major mass-casualty attacks targeting security and coalition forces, Houthi positions, public places, mosques, and the residual Western presence in the country.
The collapse of the alliance between the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed by Houthi militants on 4 December, signifies a sudden escalation of the conflict. The coalition will probably attempt to seize the momentum and prioritise the creation of a common front against the Houthis able to advance on Sanaa and Hodeidah, increasing support to local proxies and intensifying the campaign of airstrikes in Houthi-controlled territory. A political compromise is highly unlikely if not under Saudi's terms, which include the Houthis' withdrawal from Sanaa. However, Houthis' consolidation in the capital will probably make their position even more intransigent.
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 high 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 across southern provinces, especially Abyan, is likely to increase in 2018.
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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