Yemen's government has asked international financial institutions to prevent central bank officials from accessing state funds held in overseas banks, the state-run sabanew.net news agency reported on Saturday.
Yemen's central bank is based in the capital Sanaa, which is controlled by Iran-allied Houthis, while the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr is based in the southern port city of Aden. There is no end in sight to a 16-month conflict between the Houthis and government forces, which are backed by a Saudi-led coalition.
Bin Daghr has received "confirmed information" that the central bank administration is tapping Yemeni foreign reserves held at banks in Europe and the United States after exhausting funds in Sanaa and elsewhere for the war effort, an official at the prime minister's office told the agency.
"Out of concern for the funds and belongings of the Yemeni people, and in order to preserve the remaining public funds, ... the Yemeni government has decided to take this step, which includes suspending dealing with Central Bank Governor Mohammed Awad bin Humam...," the official was quoted as saying.