Yemeni riyal surges amid govt. troop withdrawal

Publish December 14, 2020

Based on the latest Arab coalition statement, a new unity government that will include the STC will be announced when the redeployment process comes to an end

AL-MUKALLA: The Yemeni riyal on Sunday surged for the third consecutive day as the internationally recognized government and separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) continued troop withdrawal from Aden and Abyan province, currency traders and officials told Arab News.

The riyal traded at 837 in government-controlled areas on Sunday afternoon, bouncing from 920 last week, a record low.

Currency traders told Arab News that the rebound began on Thursday, hours after the Arab coalition announced that Yemeni parties agreed to put into place military withdrawals from contested areas in the south and to later form a new shared government.

On Thursday, the Yemeni riyal traded at 920 against the dollar in Aden, before surging to 900 in the evening.

A day later, the riyal continued its recovery, reaching 870 before standing at 837 on Sunday. The long decline of the Yemeni riyal began in January 2015, when it was valued at 215 per dollar.

STC forces withdraw

In southern Yemen, government and STC military officers told Arab News on Sunday that more military units had been withdrawn from the contested province of Abyan and the city of Aden, the interim capital of Yemen.

The troops were redeployed to fight Iran-backed Houthis under the supervision of Saudi de-escalation officers.

“A brigade from the Coastal Defense Forces and military forces from Bayhan Axis were withdrawn from the Sheikh Salem area,” an anonymous government officer said, adding that the army is working in accordance with the Riyadh Agreement military blueprint.

On the other side of the Sheikh Salem area, the STC moved some of its forces to the battlefields. More STC military units departed their bases in Aden, according to Mohammed Al-Naqeeb, a spokesperson for STC forces in Abyan.

“We are working hand in hand with the Saudi officers,” Al-Naqeeb told Arab News.

Based on the latest Arab coalition statement, a new unity government that will include the STC will be announced when the redeployment process comes to an end. The relocation of forces and end of hostilities in southern Yemen was met with support from foreign diplomats and anti-Houthi military units.

The Chinese Embassy in Yemen on Saturday described the withdrawal of forces from Abyan and Aden as an “important step” towards the complete implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, praising the Kingdom’s role in monitoring the situation on the ground.

“We hope peace and stability will prevail in the south. We value efforts made by Saudi Arabia,” the embassy said on twitter, sharing two images of Saudi officers accompanying their Yemeni counterparts.

In the western province of Hodeidah, Sadek Dawed, a spokesman for the National Resistance force, major military units commanded by Brig. Gen. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, expressed his support and approval of the reorganization of forces and the coalition’s efforts to unify ranks against the Houthis.

“We salute the efforts of our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to reach this achievement and mend the rift between the national forces that oppose the Houthi coup and Iran’s expansion,” Dawed said.


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