Apr 23, 2014, 4:27 pm (BST)
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Diesel price hike causes tensions in Yemen
SANAA, April 6 (BSS/Xinhua) -- Armed tribesmen blocked the highways leading to the Yemeni capital of Sanaa yesterday in a protest against the government's decision to increase the diesel price by 100 percent, causing tensions ahead of a national dialogue aimed at settling disputes among political factions.

Armed tribesmen removed several barricades in Kahaza area in the southern part of Sanaa, and blocked the main highway linking Sanaa with southern provinces of Dhamar, Ibb and Taiz, and a main road between the capital and the northern province of Amran.

Most of the tribesmen are farmers who rely on diesel for growing crops.

In Sanaa, many shops were closed on Thursday in a protest against the price hike. Similar protests were seen in provinces of Al-Hodayda, Marib, al-Jouf, Saada, Ibb, al- Bayda, Taiz, Dhamar and Hajja, according to local media.

On Wednesday, the Yemeni government lifted the price of diesel and kerosene from 50 Yemeni rials (0.24 U.S. dollar) a liter to 100 rials (0.48 U.S. dollar), according to state- run Saba news agency. It also decreased the price of gasoline from 175 rials (0. 81 U.S. dollar) a liter to 125 rials (0.58 U.S. dollar).

Yemen's economy is heavily dependent on oil production, with
oil export accounting for about 63 percent of the impoverished
country's budget.

Yemen has been suffering a severe shortage of fuel due to
the one-year unrest and repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines.

Neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia announced last month that it would provide crude oil to Yemen to help meet the needs of the Yemeni people for the next two months, according to Saba.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has promised more efforts to improve the economic situation in the country, and asked for financial assistance from donor countries which are scheduled to meet later this month in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
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