Yemen’s riyal drops as UAE-backed forces claim southern provinces

The Yemeni currency, the riyal, continues to drop in financial markets, but has seen its value plummet further in the southern provinces where the UAE-supported separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) has declared self-rule from the Saudi-based, UN-recognised government, confirming earlier reports that the so-called Riyadh Agreement has failed.

The Yemen Press Agency reported on Saturday that the riyal had deteriorated to 655 to the US dollar in Aden province, which is also where the port city of the same name has been claimed by the STC as their capital and had served as the de facto capital of the government before it was seized last year by the separatists.

However, in the state capital Sanaa where the Houthi-aligned government is based, the currency had reportedly stabilised at 598 riyals per dollar.

On the black market the price of the dollar reached 600 riyals, although it remained stable in the Central Bank in Sanaa at 250 riyals per dollar and 440 riyals in other Yemeni banks across the city.

Yesterday the Central Bank in Aden was surrounded by militia aligned with the STC. According to local sources, the bank evacuated employees after STC forces besieged it despite of the presence of Saudi forces.

The separatists’ call of self-governance was rejected by the internationally-recognised government, which still maintains sovereignty over the southern provinces. Five of them have announced they are still loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, according to Anadolu. Today, the Saudis, who along with the Emiratis lead the anti-Houthi coalition, have reiterated calls for de-escalation where clashes have erupted between the factions.

It has also been reported today that southern sources have revealed that the Saudi-backed Islah party militia are seeking to enter Aden via the Lahj province and have bought the loyalty of some of the tribes there.

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