January 19-25: Houthi landmines claim multiple victims, warring parties at standstill in Hudaydah

Saturday, January 19

According to AP, UN experts have found that fuel shipped illegally from Iran is being used by the Houthis to finance their operations.

ReliefWeb published a November 2018 Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) analysis of the Shara’b al-Salam district of Ta’iz province today. The analysis concludes that 20% of internally displaced persons and 31% of host community households in the district had not been able to meet their water needs in the month prior to the assessment. Furthermore, 76% of IDPs and 70% of host community households in the district reported that leaving garbage in public spaces where it was left uncollected was the most common method of disposal.

Al-Masdar Online reports that two of Ta’iz city’s most wanted individuals were killed today by the Abu al-Abbas Brigades, an armed group with ties to AQAP and the UAE that controls parts of Ta’iz.

Al-Masdar Online tweeted a video in which the mother of activist Zakariya al-Qasim demands to know the fate of her son, who has been imprisoned by UAE forces for approximately one year.

Sunday, January 20

According to al-Masdar Online, Yemen’s Economic Committee has called for a corruption investigation with regard to currency speculation in Yemen.

Reuters reports that a Saudi-led coalition air raid on San’a last night was described by a local source as the most intense bombardment in the last year. The attacks reportedly targeted Houthi military facilities, but killed two civilians as well.

Five demining experts were killed in a blast in Marib province today, according to Agence France-Presse.

Yemen expert Dr. Elisabeth Kendall tweeted about recent clashes between tribal and government forces in Shabwah, noting the governance-related challenges that these clashes illustrate.  

Monday, January 21

A civilian was killed this morning in al-Baydha province by what was believed by local sources to be a US drone, reports al-Masdar Online. The man killed, Saleh Ma’rej al-Qisi, had no connections to extremist organizations according to locals.

Journalist Baseem al-Jenani reports that one person was killed and two injured by a Houthi shell which targeted an industrial complex in Hudaydah today. Houthi shelling also killed one woman and injured 12 other people in Ta’iz, according to al-Masdar Online.

Southern newspaper Aden al-Ghad reports that Houthi forces looted valuable books and manuscripts from the historic city of Zabid in western Hudaydah.

Al-Masdar online reports that the Houthis have threatened 30 House of Representatives members living in San’a should they leave the city or take action against the Houthi militias.

Al Jazeera focuses on the issue of HIV in Yemen; infection with HIV carries heavy stigma in the country and treatment is often difficult to access. Travel restrictions, understaffed hospitals and inadequate medical supplies for testing are all major impediments to detection and treatment of HIV.

Tuesday, January 22

The BBC clarifies the nationalities of the demining experts killed Sunday in Marib province. Two victims of the explosion were South African, one was Croatian, one Bosnian, and one Kosovan.

PBS discusses the US fight against AQAP in Yemen and its impact on Yemeni civilians.

Wednesday, January 23

Al Jazeera reports on the state of access to potable water in Yemen. At this time, according to the United Nations, approximately 19 million Yemenis do not have access to safe drinking water.

Thursday, January 24

Reuters reports on the difficulties of living with a disability in Yemen, focusing on the story of Yaarub Eissa from Hajjah province, who uses a wheelchair due to the loss of his legs as a child.

The Independent reports that local officials expect the parties to the conflict in Yemen to reach an agreement on the terms of the impending prisoner swap within the next 10 days.

Crisis Group published a report today on the current events on the ground in Yemen, focusing particularly on the recent developments and challenges with regard to the Stockholm Agreements.

Friday, January 25

Reuters reports that Dutch general Patrick Cammaert has stepped down as head of the UN monitoring mission tasked with overseeing the ceasefire in al-Hudaydah. He is being replaced by Danish Major General Michael Anker Lollesgaard, former commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

ReliefWeb released the UN Secretary General's most recent report to the Security Council on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreements, which states that not much progress has been made. The Hudaydah mission chief has met with both sides repeatedly to discuss terms for withdrawing troops from the San'a-Hudaydah road and Hudaydah port, however no agreement has been reached on this matter. The Yemeni Government continues to interfere with incoming shipments, particularly of oil.

According to Washington Post, six people including one child were killed by landmines today in central Baydha province.

Yemeni journalist Shoaib al-Mosawa reports that a Saudi coalition airstrike in Hajjah province struck the home of a group of internally displaced persons, killing four people.

Al-Masdar Online reports that seven people, including a woman and child, were killed by a Houthi landmine today in al-Baydha province.