Yemen / by Michelle Ryan

Divisions continue to hinder settlement in a new round of peace talks aimed at resolving the Yemeni conflict. The Saudi-led coalition announced the formation of an independent inquiry into war crime allegations against its forces. Britain continued to face increasing criticism for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The USA expanded their restrictions for their visa-waiver program to include Yemen, amongst others. Aden airport is expected to reopen within weeks. The residents of Taiz continue to face grave risk of famine. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report was released indicating the use of American-made cluster munitions, banned by international Treaty, in Yemeni civilian areas by the Saudi-led coalition. Two journalists and their children were killed in a coalition airstrike. An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber killed 13 recruits in a Yemeni army camp in Aden. Over 30 people were killed in an airstrike northeast of the Yemeni capital. Pro-government forces seized a Houthi camp outside Sanaa located on one of the defence lines of the capital. Though now under government control, Aden continues to face grave security issues. Yemen's Central Bank announced it would stop providing lines of credit for sugar and rice imports. The persisting political and security instability due to the on-going conflict have gravely affected the Yemeni private sector, beyond business closure, financial losses and the energy crisis. Though the conflict has caused major financial and physical losses, certain activities have achieved unprecedented gains, such as the black market.