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Yemen Petrol Crisis Causing Further Social Unrest

Socio-economic problems have erupted in Yemen as the petrol crisis enters into its fifth month with little to no end in sight.

The Yemeni oil industry, which is the country’s largest source of income, came under attack by Yemeni tribesman in March this year with political leaders both for and against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accusing each other of backing the armed tribesmen.

The Yemeni President himself was injured in an assassination attempt on June 3rd and is currently recuperating in Saudi Arabia.

However, recovery efforts within the nation continue to struggle as the government considers military action in order to retake control over tribe-controlled areas that oil pipelines in need of repair.

In the meantime, Yemeni citizens have been lining up at petrol stations waiting for an opportunity to pump some gas.

The National reports that queues for petrol have been as long as three miles while some Yemenis have been forced to either wait for more than a week in front of petrol stations or purchase their petrol in the black market for more than six times the normal price.

According to the Yemen Post, the severe shortage of petrol in Yemen has led to violence on the streets as people squabble among each other at petrol stations all over the country.

“Three people were killed and at least eight others injured in conflicts at filling stations where thousands of cars have been parked for long time, some for almost two weeks, waiting for petrol or diesel.

In other provinces including the capital Sana'a, several people were injured in conflicts at filling stations; some as powerful people using guns tried to fill their cars before those who have been queuing.”

The Studies and Economic Media Center estimate that the oil crisis may have generated nearly US$1.3 billion in losses for the oil industry alone.

According to The National, thousands of jobs have also been lost because people simply cannot get to work.

While Acting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have pledged to repair the damaged oil pipeline within the coming days, conflicts in the country are unlikely to end as violence continue to escalate between political factions.

“The ruling party is in control of Yemen but the opposition is in control of the oil,” said Mohammed Qahtan, spokesperson for the opposition Joint Meeting Parties.

Source: Economywatch

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