New prime minister appointed in Yemen amid dire challenges-Xinhua

New prime minister appointed in Yemen amid dire challenges

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-06 08:53:15

ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's ongoing civil war took a new turn on Monday as the Presidential Leadership Council appointed Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak as the country's new prime minister, according to the state-run Saba news agency.

The council's chairman issued an official decree appointing Bin Mubarak to replace Maeen Abdulmalik, who was named a presidential advisor.

Bin Mubarak is a seasoned politician who previously served as chief of staff under former President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2014. That same year, he was offered the position of prime minister but declined.

Since late 2014, Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war between Iran-backed Houthis and Saudi-backed government forces. The Houthis seized control of key northern regions, including the capital Sanaa.

Bin Mubarak himself was briefly kidnapped by the Houthi group in 2015. After his release, he went on to serve as Yemen's Ambassador to the United States, followed by Foreign Minister starting in 2020.

In a statement, Bin Mubarak said he assumed the new role "with determination to achieve tangible results for the Yemeni people during these difficult times," calling for unity and efforts between the government and state institutions to serve the nation responsibly.

He stressed the need to uphold the rule of law while addressing the many challenges facing Yemen. He noted that his government will seek regional and international partnerships to establish peace and security in the country.

Bin Mubarak takes on the role of prime minister at a time when Yemen faces immense economic and humanitarian challenges. Years of civil war have led to a deterioration of the economy, with soaring inflation and the collapse of the Yemeni currency. Infrastructure across the country lies in ruins, while poverty and food insecurity affect millions of Yemenis.

On Saturday, the Yemeni riyal plunged to a new record low, breaking 1,650 against one U.S. dollar, as the country's currency crisis continues to worsen.

The continued conflict between Houthis and government forces has displaced over 4 million people and left 80 percent of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite repeated attempts toward ceasefire and peace deals, a political solution remains elusive. The country is also split between the Houthi-held north and the internationally recognized government in the south.

Bringing stability to Yemen will require urgent measures to shore up the failing economy, address fuel and food shortages, rebuild decimated infrastructure and public services, and establish lasting peace. With the nation split in two and a complex array of factions vying for power, Bin Mubarak faces a monumental task of restoring unity and finding an inclusive political settlement, according to local observers.