Protests Across Yemen Continue Because of Soaring Prices

Published September 6th, 2018 - 07:13 GMT
Yemeni protesters block a road as they protest against inflation and the rise of living costs in the country's second city of Aden, which is held by forces loyal to the Saudi-backed government, on September 5, 2018. (Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP)
Yemeni protesters block a road as they protest against inflation and the rise of living costs in the country's second city of Aden, which is held by forces loyal to the Saudi-backed government, on September 5, 2018. (Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP)

Yemenis in several cities continued to stage demonstrations on Wednesday to protest rising costs of living following a recent plunge of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.

In Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, and in the southern Hadhramaut province, demonstrations were held for the fourth day in row, with protesters blocking roads with burning tires.

In Aden’s Al-Maala district, where the governor’s headquarters is located, protesters prevented government employees from reaching their places of work.

Eyewitnesses in the city said that the demonstrations had brought traffic to a virtual standstill.

Several protests were also seen in Hadhramaut province, including in provincial capital Mukalla, where demonstrators blocked the city’s main streets, according to witnesses.

In an effort to contain mounting popular discontent, the government on Tuesday approved a 30 percent increase in salaries for civil servants.

The move, however, has failed to dampen the protests, which erupted after a sharp drop in the value of the Yemeni rial from roughly 515 rials to the dollar last month to a current 630.

At the beginning of 2015, the Yemeni rial had traded at about 215 to the greenback.

Meanwhile, currency exchange offices countrywide have closed their doors.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing the internationally-recognized government to take up temporary residence in Aden.

 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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