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Yemenis Protest against Crumbling Currency, Price Hikes

Yemenis Protest against Crumbling Currency, Price Hikes

Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 - 07:30
People ride a motorcycle past burning tires during protests against the deteriorating economic situation and the devaluation of the local currency, in Taiz, Yemen September 27, 2021. (Reuters)

Hundreds of Yemenis held protests in Taiz and other Yemeni governorates on Monday to demonstrate against deteriorating living conditions and the devaluation of the currency.

The Central Bank vowed to take measures to stop the decline and denied having ordered the closure of currency exchange shops.

In the last few days, the Yemeni rial hit 1,200 to the dollar in government-run areas, leading to a spike in the prices of commodities.

The Exchangers Association in the interim capital, Aden, called on Sunday to close exchange and transfer shops, hoping that this would stop the rial’s collapse.

In Taiz, hundreds of people declared civil disobedience and blocked streets with burning tires. This prompted government forces to intervene, resulting in clashes with the protesters amid security warnings of the consequences of the chaos.

In a statement, the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) said it would soon take decisive and strict measures at the level of banks and exchange shops to fix the situation as much as possible and stop the rial’s sharp depreciation.

“CBY enjoys complete independence and operates in accordance with rules, professional mechanisms, and controls determined by the laws in force in this regard,” confirmed the statement.

The statement called on “everyone to cooperate with CBY, be responsible, and realize the danger of the continued deterioration in the value of the local currency.”

CBY stated that it “did not take a decision to close the activity of money exchange companies and facilities, and that the decision was taken by the Exchangers Association and presented to the competent department at CBY.”

The bank added that it was “aware of the sensitivity and complexity of the situation that arose after others intervened in the activity of the money exchange market, and even concluded agreements with a number of money changers without realizing the consequences.”

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