Fighting in Yemen between forces loyal to the internationally recognised government and the Houthi movement continued in December with no sign of de-escalation. In Marib, government forces managed to fend off attackers away from the city, albeit with heavy costs for both sides.
Marib is not the only front were fighting continues. Last month, Arab Coalition Forces supporting the internationally recognised government on the west coast of the country withdrew from around city port of Hodeidah and headed south. taking control of new areas and villages on the way. Their reason was that Hodiedah was a stalled front due to the provisions of the Stockholm agreement that designated the city as a humanitarian entry point. The coalition intensified their airstrikes over military targets around Sanaa.
The Houthis, in turn, also continued to launch attack drones targeting several cities in Saudi Arabia in response to what the group describes as Saudi aggression.
Funerals have become common in Yemen as both sides pay respects to their fallen, and the numbers are increasing. The news agency Agence France Presse estimated that around 15000 Houthi fighters have been killed since mid-June.
Peace efforts by various international actors are yet to make a breakthrough. Yemeni and US officials continue to imply that Houthis are not serious about striking a peace deal to end the war.
On the economic level, the Yemeni currency dropped to an all-time low this week in government-held areas as the Yemeni riyal was recently traded at 1703 for one US dollar despite efforts taken by Central Bank to maintain the exchange rate. Due to the war, both the Houthis and the government now have their own branch of the Central Bank with contradictory policies.
On Monday (6 December), Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi replaced the central bank governor and deputy governor amid an unprecedented collapse of the currency.
The measures were considered by some as positive but others argued that the changes in the Central Bank’s leadership will not have any positive effect on the economy given the widespread scale of corruption in institutions.