The focus on the political crisis in Sana’a overlooks the continued fragmentation of the Yemeni state and long-term challenges in Yemen.
At least 57 prisoners escaped from a south Yemen jail. The inmates escaped through an underground tunnel during a simultaneous attack on the prison by gunmen. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded at the al Munawara prison in al Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt governorate. Yemeni security officials allege that the prisoners were al Qaeda operatives.
South Yemen violence has displaced tens of thousands of people. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 40,000 people have been displaced from Abyan, Lahij, and Aden governorates. There is now a severe fuel shortage in Yemen, which has also affected humanitarian operations.
The Yemeni state is undergoing fragmentation and a resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not result in a unified state. The country also remains at risk of armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda’s operating space in Yemen.
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