Protesters blocked streets, erected road blocks, and burned tires in Aden on Sunday, September 2, in anger at the worsening economic conditions of the country. Protests were concentrated in Crater, Ma'ala, and Mansoura districts of the southern port city. These demonstrations followed calls for civil disobedience this weekend, which included the closure of shops and universities. As of 11:30 (local time), protests were ongoing.
Protests have recently been staged in Aden and Zinjibar (Abyan province) over poor economic and living conditions and rising prices of food and other basic goods due to the recent devaluation of the Yemeni rial (YER). The YER has been losing value against the US dollar since July and suffered a sharp drop in the past two weeks. The rial was trading against the US dollar at 496 YER in July, but was at 570 YER on Tuesday, August 29, and reportedly is above 600 as of Sunday. Combined with a decrease in imports caused in part to the fighting by Al-Hudaydah, commodities prices have increased by 30 to 40 percent.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Individuals in Aden are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments strongly advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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