Yemen’s exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi issued a decision on Sunday to move the headquarters of the country’s Central Bank and its operational administration from the capital Sana’a to the southern city of Aden.
As part of a series of technical ministerial changes conducted in the government of Dr. Ahmed Bin Daghr, the Yemeni president appointed Finance Minister Dr. Mansar al-Kaiti as head of the bank after sacking Dr. Mohammed bin Hamam.
A war is fuming between Houthi rebels, who control the capital where the Central Bank is situated, and the internationally recognized government of Daghr based in Aden.
Chairman of the Yemeni Studies and Economic Media Center Mustafa Nasr told Asharq Al-Awsat that the relocation of the Central Bank is considered as the most important economic decision taken since rebels captured the capital in 2014.
Nasr said the relocation would have important repercussions as it shows the capability of the legitimate government to manage the crisis, and the good coordination with the Gulf Cooperation Council states, the 18 countries sponsoring peace in Yemen, in addition to international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Hadi’s limited cabinet reshuffle included the appointment of Ahmed Obaid Al Fadhli as finance minister, replacing Kaiti.
Hadi also appointed Muammar al-Iriani as Information Minister, Dr. Mohamed Qubaty as Tourism Minister, Dr. Ahmed Zubayen Attiah as Minister of Endowment and Guidance, Hussein Abdulrahman Basalama as Minister of Higher Education, and Marwan Damaj as Minister of Culture.
Hadi also appointed Abdulghani Jameel as Minister of Sana’a Secretariat and Abdulrab Saleh Aslami as Minister of State.
Hadi’s decision on Sunday comes at a time when the Yemeni population suffers from a financial crisis that hit the country 18 months ago.
A high-ranking Yemeni ministerial official said the decision to relocate the Central Bank was preceded by a series of procedures taken in Riyadh.
“The decision was coordinated with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.,” the official said, refusing to uncover more details.
The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of squandering some $4 billion from Central Bank reserves to finance their insurgency.
Nasr said moving the headquarters of the Central Bank from Sana’a to Aden comes as part of the government’s arrangements to regain control of the economic decision-making in the country.
“The government now should prepare the adequate environment for the implementation of its new decision by enhancing stability in the provisional capital, Aden, and to look for regional and international support,” Nasr said.
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