Yemen in Media

Houthi Oppression Deprives Tens of Thousands of Yemenis of their Salaries

By Al SHARQ AL-AWSAT

Yemen’s Finance Ministry demanded the international community, the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund to bear their responsibility to counter the tyrannical practices of the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

In their latest violation, the militias have delayed the payment of salaries to public civil servicemen and pensioners in areas under their control in northern Yemen after they refused to work with newly printed banknotes.

“The militias have banned the circulation of the new Yemeni rials that were released by the central bank in Aden,” the ministry said in a statement.

This has led to the paralysis of bank activity and deprived tens of thousands of employees and pensioners from receiving their salaries.

The central bank had printed the new currency some three years ago.

The Houthis’ latest move is part of their ongoing efforts to combat the legitimate government.

They have called for the withdrawal of the new currency, giving people a month to hand over the new banknote. In the latest farce, they said they will compensate them in old currency or so-called electronic rial.

Yemeni legal sources and activists said they had earlier received a notice from the legitimate government expressing its inability to pay the salaries of employees working in Houthi-controlled areas starting December 2019 as a result of the militias’ decision not to deal with the new banknote.

The sources said that those salaries, worth more than 10 billion Yemeni rials per month, including employees working in the health sectors, the judiciary, university teachers, civilian retirees and the control and accounting apparatus.

Bankers in Saana told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthi decision aims to prevent Yemenis from using the new notes and instead, flood the market with the old banknote.

Accordingly, the Yemeni Trade Union called for an open strike, starting next month, to protest the militias’ decision.

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