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Yemen - Rising levels of political violence

Companies with operations in Yemen face an increasingly difficult operating environment due to rising levels of political violence. Risks to business have increased markedly since mid-September 2014 when Shi’ite Houthi rebels launched an offensive to establish control over Sana’a and other major urban hubs in central and western Yemen. The offensive itself caused major disruptions to business including the suspension of all international flights to and from Sana’a international airport.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s terrorist campaign in Yemen has the potential to cause significant disruption to business activities. The group is responsible for terrorist attacks in major cities and disrupting Yemen’s limited transport infrastructure. It also continues to engage in kidnappings and extortion. The conflict between AQAP and the Houthis has played a role in explaining the spike in terrorist incidents, with the number of attacks almost doubling between August and September 2014. As many as 139 terrorist incidents were recorded in Yemen by the Maplecroft Terrorism and Security Dashboard in the period.