The Foreign Office has warned Britons against everything but essential travel to Yemen.
Government Officials say that the advice was reviewed and reissued as violence has increased in the country. Any UK nationals that are already in Yemen without any pressing need to remain in the country are advised to head home by commercial means if possible.
In recent days, there have been widespread protests against the Yemeni government’s rule in numerous cities, with reports of clashes occurring between police and demonstrators. The UK’s Foreign Office says that there have been reports of violence from the authorities in an attempt to disperse crowds, in addition to a number of deaths. While further protests are expected, according to officials, violence is likely.
In particular demonstrators are demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh, ruler of the country since 1978, steps down. They say that they are incredibly frustrated about corruption and soaring unemployment.
Saleh has rejected opposition plans under which he will need to step down from power in 2011. However, he actually intends to serve the full term in office he is scheduled for, which would have him surrendering power in 2013. Saleh has blamed America and Israel for causing unrest in Yemen, as well as across the rest of the Arab world.
At the moment, Yemen is one of just four countries that the Foreign Office has advised Britains must not travel to. The other three are namely Libya, Ivory Coast and the pirate-ridden state of Somalia.