The conflict between the internationally-backed Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has spilled into the Yemeni economy after the latter seized a number of cash cases that were en route to the country’s central bank.
While the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) denounced the move, the STC slammed the government over its weak economic performance, confirming that the group will keep the stolen cash.
CBY said that the STC stole the cases that were on their way from Yemeni seaports to bank’s headquarters in Aden, the war-torn country’s interim capital.
CBY, in a statement published by the official Saba new agency, clarified that the STC force at the scene was supposed to be protecting the cash convoy according to previous agreements. It also warned against the use of the money in the containers in any way, and held the robbers accountable for the negative blowback of doing so.
On the other hand, the STC said it took the billions of Yemeni rials out of national duty to protect public interests and prevent further depreciation of the currency.
"The self-administration gave directives to preserve a number of containers that contain banking notes printed without cover, and to prevent their entry to the CBY,” the STC-run economic committee said in a statement.
The seizure aims at correcting the CBY's course, ensuring that effective measures would be taken to curb increase in exchange rates and restoring balance to reasonable levels, it argued.
Early on Saturday, STC forces appropriated billions of rials from Aden.
They stormed into the container terminal and burgled seven cases full of local bank notes, sources at the Yemeni UN-recognized government said.
For the STC, this "comes as part of a package of measures to dry corruption and avoid the use of public funds in support of terrorism ... by some leaders of the Yemeni government.”