Yemen: Security set as a priority

26 July 2012

Yemen’s new leadership has many challenges to tackle, but they can only be properly addressed once its security problems have been resolved

The sabotage of the Marib oil pipeline by tribesmen in March 2011 illustrates how vulnerable Yemen’s economy is. The loss of oil supplies to the domestic market cost the government billions of dollars and resulted in fuel shortages, which caused the price of food and water to soar, making the daily struggle of the country’s poor that much harder.

Yemen has many problems for its new leadership to tackle, from mass unemployment and endemic corruption to intermittent electricity supply and declining oil production, but these can only be properly addressed once the security problems have been resolved.

Protecting vital infrastructure and restoring security has to be the chief priority of President Abdrabbu Mansour al-Hadi or Yemen will be unable to attract the investment it so desperately needs.

Despite some success in reforming the military and wrestling terrain back from terror group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, much more still needs to be done. Al-Hadi has been elected to preside over a two-year transition period.

If he fails to make a discernible difference, he is unlikely to be given a second chance. By the next elections, opposition candidates will have had time to build up support.

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