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Critical oil and gas operations in parts of western Yemen have been suspended in the last week, on the back of a new wave of unrest sparked by the abduction of a presidential aide by Shi’a Houthi militants, who for over four months have occupied the Yemeni capital San’a.
Yemen’s new powerbrokers seized President ‘Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi’s chief of staff, Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak on 17 January, following a dispute over a proposed new constitution. This prompted several oil companies operating in Mr Mubarak’s home province of Shabwa to halt operations as part of an understanding with local tribesmen, angered by the 46-year politician’s capture.
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