Yemen's president orders another senior leadership shake-up

The beleagured government is struggling with impending famine and economic collapse

A picture taken on August 9, 2018 during a trip in Yemen organised by the UAE's National Media Council (NMC) shows a poster of Yemen's Saudi and UAE-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi on a billboard in the country's second city of Aden. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)
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The beleaguered president of Yemen ordered a cabinet shake-up on Monday, a month after he sacked the former prime minister.

In an evening decree, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi named new ministers of planning and international cooperation, electricity and energy, and justice, as well as a new governor for Shabwa province and a new presidential advisor for reconstruction.

Since Houthi rebels took over the capital Sanaa in 2015, Yemen’s government has operated in exile from Aden, though in practice most senior officials live in Riyadh or Cairo, with just the prime minister living permanently in the temporary capital.

After three years of war, the economy is in ruins, with the government struggling to stave off total collapse. The riyal has lost more than half its value against the dollar since the start of the war and half the population is at risk of a historic famine.

In October, President Hadi dismissed Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher, blaming him for negligence and economic mismanagement. In his place he appointed a dynamic young technocrat Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, who it was hoped might somehow turn the situation around.

The new cabinet members are familiar faces.

The incoming minister of planning and international cooperation, Najeeb Mansour Al Aoug, previously served as the manager of the Aden oil refinery, where the new minister of electricity and energy Mohammed Abdullah Saleh Al Anan was his deputy. The new minister of justice Ali Haithem Al Ghareeb served as an adviser to President Hadi and is a prominent leader in the Southern Movement, which advocated for a return to the former independent state of South Yemen.


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Meanwhile, a UN delegation headed by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour arrived in Aden on Monday. The delegation met Yemen’s Minister for Human Rights Mohammed Askar.

"We discussed measures that could be taken collaboratively with the UN and the international community to mitigate the suffering of the Yemeni people caused by the severe crimes committed by the Houthis against thousands of innocent civilians and to promote capacity building in the ministry of the Human Rights to take part in exposing the horrible crimes committed by the Houthis against the humanity in Yemen," Dr Askar told The National.