Riyadh- One day following a decision by Yemen’s exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to move the headquarters of the country’s central bank from the capital Sana’a to Aden, the newly appointed Central Bank Governor Mansar al-Kaiti revealed that rebels had looted $6.3 million from the country’s internal and foreign exchange reserves.
In a press conference held yesterday in Riyadh, Kaiti said the central bank foreign reserves in foreign currency, including the Saudi reserves, have reduced from $5.2 billion in September 2014 to less than $700 million by the end of August.
He added Houthis had spent $1.8 million on supporting “war activities” and currency speculation.
As part of a series of new ministerial and governmental appointments conducted on Sunday, the Yemeni president appointed Finance Minister Dr. Kaiti as head of the Central bank after sacking Dr. Mohammed bin Hamam.
Hadi’s forces control Aden, while the Houthi rebels rule Sana’a in the north.
Kaiti said the Central Bank in Sana’a has financed the Houthi war activities at the expense of the government and therefore has totally lost its neutrality and independence.
He said that in order to serve Houthi interests, rebels were looting the bank’s reserves, causing the depletion of resources in national currency (Yemeni Rial) and foreign exchange.
The new governor said the central bank has reached a point at which it has exhausted its foreign reserves and is no longer able to cover its commitments.
“It was unacceptable to keep this situation ongoing and therefore we had to intervene and find solutions that would limit these conducts, which have pushed the Yemeni economy to the verge of collapse,” Kaiti said.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Bin Daghr announced that the government would pay all the country’s internal and foreign debt.
He said his government would provide the Central Bank with the resources to cover its spending on civil servants and military personnel.
Bin Daghr also promised that his government would take care of all nationals.