Yemenis living under Houthi rule were hopeful that the oil crisis created by the Iran-backed militias would come to an end with the legitimate government allowing oil shipments to arrive at Hodeidah, but instead the Houthis have hiked oil prices in their territories.
The Houthis are selling a 20-liter can of gasoline for 12,600 Yemeni rials. Before the crisis, the same amount of fuel ran at 9,900 Yemeni rials.
According to informed sources, the hike followed extensive meetings by the militia leaders, who instructed the oil company subject to them to announce the new rate. The increase was met with great discontent among the public.
The manipulation of the price is coupled by the militias deliberately acquiring tons of fuel that are arriving in Houthi-held Hodeidah port, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Moreover, they accused prominent Houthi leaders of taking over huge quantities of oil entering Hodeidah soon after the two-month United Nations truce went into effect earlier this month. The appropriated fuel was destined for Yemenis suffering a stifling oil crisis.
Before the Houthis announced the new rates, Sanaa residents were unable to obtain fuel without paying gas stations the steep price of 16,000 rials per canister, sources revealed.
Making matters worse, the Houthis have transferred oil tankers from Hodeidah to warehouses they operate in several other governorates with the intention of investing the oil in their military and black-market operations.
Meanwhile, a source close to the militias' ruling circle in Sanaa revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that a secret meeting was held recently at the headquarters of the oil company that is held by the Houthis.
The meeting included several Houthi leaders who sought devise ways to enable them to dispose of the quantities of fuel arriving at the port of Hodeidah.