Political Analysis

UK Government Issue Warning Travel Advice to Yemen

National Yemen

British Ambassador to Yemen and Mr.Alistair Burt in a joint press conference in Sana’a

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave. If you don’t leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it is extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance.

Sana’a International Airport reopened at 1pm local time on 23 December following earlier industrial action. Many flights have been delayed or cancelled. Check with your airline before travelling to the airport. There are reports of delays on the main airport road.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. There is a very high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has previously targeted western interests and there could be a threat to diplomatic missions, commercial sites, transport infrastructure and any place where westerners gather. See Terrorism.

The situation in Yemen remains volatile with continuing unrest and violent clashes. The threat of an escalation of violence and disorder remains.

Since the end of October 2013 there has been a significant outbreak of hostilities between the Huthi movement and the Salafi community in the Dammaj area of northern Yemen, with significant numbers of casualties. Following the killing of a leading sheikh in Hadramawt on 2 December, the tribes in Hadramawt took over military camps and police stations in the region on 2 December. There have been two casualties reported. The Yemeni Government are in the process of negotiating with the tribes.

If you travel to Yemen against our advice, you should regularly reassess your security and plan any movements around the country carefully. The provision of close security protection and/or a military escort is extremely important for those working and moving around in Yemen. See Local travel

On 5 December, an attack on the Ministry of Defence Hospital in Bab Al-Yaman, Sana’a, left at least 52 people dead and many more injured. On 15 December a Japanese national was seriously injured during a failed car-jacking attempt in Sana’a. On 26 November, 2 Belarusian nationals were shot dead outside their hotel in the Al Sabeen district of Sana’a. On 6 October 2013, a German national was shot and killed outside a supermarket in the Hadda district of Sana’a. While it is not yet known who was behind these attacks, you are reminded of the ongoing threat against foreigners and are strongly advised to avoid places visited on a regular basis by foreign nationals. See Terrorism

The level of consular assistance available to British nationals is limited. If you need urgent consular assistance call either +967 1308 114 to be redirected to the FCO in London or +44 (0) 20 7008 1500.

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See