top of page

Conflict over resources fuels the war in Yemen

Special Representative Hans Grundberg told the UN Security Council that the fight over economic wealth "has become inseparable from the political and military conflict" in #Yemen.
 الحرب في اليمن صراع من أجل الموارد

Sporadic armed clashes between Yemen's Houthi rebels and government forces are putting a strain on peace efforts, according to the UN envoy to Yemen, and the two rivals are now fighting over revenues from ports, trade, banking, and natural resources.

According to UN Special Representative Hans Grundberg, the fight over economic wealth "has become inseparable from the political and military struggle."

While fighting in Yemen has decreased significantly since the armistice in April 2022, he claims that continued outbreaks of violence, combined with public threats to resume large-scale fighting, increase fear and tension.

Yemenis, according to Grundberg, have experienced the longest period of relative calm since the outbreak of civil war in 2014, but "the situation on the ground remains fragile and difficult." He cited clashes in five frontline areas, including Hodeidah, Yemen's main port, and Marib, an oil-rich eastern province that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels attempted to seize in 2021.

Although the truce was not renewed when it expired last October, Grundberg stated that the reduced fighting allowed for serious discussions with the parties about ending the war. He urged both parties to take "bold steps" toward peace.

"This means an end to the conflict that promises accountable national and local governance, economic and environmental justice, and guarantees of equal citizenship for all Yemenis, regardless of gender, religion, background, or ethnicity," he explained.

According to Grundberg, the value of the Yemeni riyal against the US dollar has fallen by more than 25% in the past year in the southern port city of Aden, which is now the seat of the internationally recognized government. He claimed that the cost of transporting goods had more than doubled due to road closures caused by the conflict.

According to Joyce Msuya, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, 17.3 million of Yemen's 21.6 million people required assistance. She claims that the deteriorating economy is one of the primary causes of the enormous level of humanitarian needs.

"Only by stabilizing the economy can we reduce the huge number of people in need," she explained. It stated that this included "the long-awaited resumption of oil exports from government-controlled areas" as well as an end to "the obstruction of commercial goods transfers from the government to Houthi-controlled areas."

According to Msuya, the UN's $4.3 billion appeal for Yemen was only 29% funded at the halfway point of the year, and the World Food Program's operation to help the severely malnourished is only 40% funded. She stated that if more funding is not provided by September, "the World Food Program may be forced to cut food assistance to up to five million people."

UN Humanitarian Coordinator David Gresley reported to the UN Security Council on Monday that the Houthis granted permission to transfer 1.1 million barrels of crude oil from the rusting Safer tanker moored 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah.

The tanker was purchased by the Yemeni government in the 1980s to store up to 3 million barrels of oil pumped from the Marib oil fields. The tanker has not been maintained since 2015 due to the war, as seawater leaked into the tanker's hull, causing damage that increased the risk of sinking and large oil spills.

Gresley stated that the salvage vessel Nedevor has anchored the tanker at the Safer site since its arrival on May 30 so that its oil can be transported. He stated that the tanker Nautica was preparing to leave Djibouti and would begin transporting oil from the Safer by early next week. He estimated that the procedure would take about two weeks.

"The completion of the ship-to-ship transfer of oil will be a moment when the whole world can send a signal of relief," Gresley said.


bottom of page