Yemen alert – increasing unrest and Al-Qaeda activity

25 September 2014

Recent weeks have seen escalating unrest in many parts of Yemen. In the capital, Sana’a, protests have frequently turned violent, with thousands of Shia Houthi activists marching against the Sunni dominated government of President Hadi. If you are thinking of visiting or are currently working in Yemen, we strongly recommend that you have proper high-risk insurance in place.

Inter-ethnic and terror threats

To the northeast, fighting between government troops and Houthi militants continues to claim lives. Meanwhile there is the ever-increasing threat from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who seem to be exploiting religious and tribal divisions with the aim of causing further destabilisation. 

Current UK Foreign Office (FCO) advice is against all travel to all parts of Yemen and British nationals are strongly urged to leave. Should your situation or business mean that you have to stay in Yemen against FCO advice, please be aware that typical business, life and travel insurance policies will be invalid and that securing high-risk specialist Yemen insurance should be a priority. 

Recent history of civil war

Yemen is the Middle East’s poorest country. Sitting on the ancient silk route at the crossroads of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, it is thought to be the site of the biblical kingdom of Sheba. The Unified Republic of Yemen came into being in 1990 with the merger of the pro-communist south and the more traditional and tribal north. Tensions between north and south have erupted into civil war before, once in 1994 and again in 2009. 

In 2011 an uprising inspired by the Arab Spring led to the ousting of President Saleh who had been in power for 22 years. Since then a unity government has been in power with Hadi as its president, however the north/south, Sunni/Shia and inter tribal tensions have continued, with AQAP further complicating and escalating the situation.

High-risk Yemen insurance

If you need Yemen insurance please contact us to discuss your particular requirements. At Bellwood Prestbury we have years of experience in providing quality cover than will remain effective even in the most challenging and hostile circumstances. Among the individuals and companies we work with are war correspondents, NGOs, diplomats, security consultants and those involved in the oil, gas, mining and engineering industries.

For information and confidential advice about Yemen insurance please contact us on +44 (0)1242 584 558.

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