The Federal Foreign Office urgently warns against traveling to Yemen. Germans who might still be there were asked to leave Yemen.
The German embassy in Sanaa is temporarily closed and cannot provide consular assistance on site in an emergency. The closest German diplomatic mission abroad is the embassy in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
Since March 26, 2015, an alliance of states in the region, led by Saudi Arabia, has been carrying out air strikes against state (especially military) infrastructure in Yemen. The military operations are mainly taking place in larger cities in the country, especially in the capital Sanaa, and also represent a considerable threat to the civilian population. An end to the military operations is currently not in sight.
Both the political and the security situation is extremely volatile across the country. The guarantee of security by state authorities is not guaranteed.
In Yemen there are repeated terrorist attacks by regional branches of the terrorist networks Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State. The Internet has repeatedly threatened kidnapping of non-Muslim foreigners in Yemen and the entire Arabian Peninsula. Western foreigners – including not least German citizens – are particularly at risk. Much of the country is not under government control
There are regular terrorist attacks on security forces as well as acts of sabotage on infrastructure facilities. The last time there were serious attacks in Aden on December 10 and December 18, 2016, each with more than 50 fatalities. A fatal attack on a German national occurred on October 6, 2013, and a Russian national was shot dead on November 27, 2013. On December 5, 2013, at least 50 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Sanaa, including two German nationals. On May 5, 2014, a French national died in an attack in the capital.
According to youremailverifier, there are repeated kidnappings of foreign nationals in Yemen. German nationals were also affected several times. Often local tribes tried to extort consideration from their own government. The hostages were often released after being held hostage for several months. However, there are still people in the hands of kidnappers. In February 2014, a number of foreign nationals were kidnapped.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has repeatedly called for kidnappings; There are indications of concrete plans for kidnapping western foreigners by the terror network. Kidnappings can in principle take place anywhere in the country, including in the cities and in the capital.
The armed conflict in Yemen continues after the failure of the last peace talks in Kuwait in August 2016. Large parts of the country are affected by daily bombing, missile attacks and fighting on the ground. According to the UN, the conflict has claimed over 10,000 victims since March 2015. The state institutions are only functioning to a very limited extent across the country. In September 2014, militias of the Shiite-Zaidite Houthi movement took control of large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa, and also brought parts of the security forces under their control. The state security organs are only partially functional and cannot guarantee adequate protection in individual cases.
The South Yemeni movement (“al-hirak al-ganubi”) is striving for the independence or autonomy of the South, which has been united with North Yemen since 1990. Mass demonstrations continue to take place very quickly, in some cases associated with violent riots South Yemen contribute to the country’s instability.
Before traveling to the south and north of the country, it is advisable not to drive off-road due to the lack of clearly localized minefields, even if a large part of the areas has been cleared in recent years. Mines remained, especially along the main road from Aden to Sana’a to Al-Anad, along the coastal roads east of Aden and west of Mukalla and around the port city of Bir Ali. There are said to be new minefields in the conflict areas in the Sa’ada (Dammai) and Abyan regions.
Ship trips / expeditions
There is still a very high risk of pirate attacks and capture off the coasts of Somalia and its neighboring states as well as in the adjacent waters. Ships deep in the Indian Ocean (around the Seychelles and Madagascar) and off Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Yemen and Oman are also at risk of being attacked and hijacked. Skippers in the aforementioned areas are strongly advised to exercise the utmost caution. Despite international efforts to curb piracy, the number of pirate attacks remains high; effective protection cannot be guaranteed. Skippers in the endangered waters are strongly recommended to register with the Maritime Security Center at www.mschoa.org.
Individual boat trips in front of and in the Yemeni coastal waters are strongly discouraged. Due to the military importance of the islands in the Red Sea, most of them are restricted military areas. There are regular conflicts with Eritrea over fishing rights in the Red Sea. In the Bab al-Mandab area and the upstream waters of Somalia, there are increasing reports of piracy incidents and problems related to the smuggling of refugees from Somalia to Yemen. In view of the civil war-like conditions in parts of the country, warnings are given before calling at Yemeni ports. Please note the Foreign Office’s travel warning for Somalia and the waters around the “Horn of Africa”.