Yemen Political Splits Hinder Full Repairs to Damaged Red Sea Internet Cables

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-05-07 08:59 PM UTC
Yemen Political Splits Hinder Full Repairs to Damaged Red Sea Internet Cables


Full repairs to three submarine internet cables damaged in the Red Sea in February are being held up by disputes over who controls access to infrastructure in Yemeni waters.  The Yemeni government has granted permits for the repair of two out of three cables, but refused the third because of a dispute with one of the cable’s consortium members. Repairs to the Seacom and EIG cables have been approved, but the consortium that runs AAE-1, which includes telecommunications company TeleYemen, was not granted a permit by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, according to Bloomberg. The dispute over the third cable derives from the split political control of TeleYemen, the country’s sole telecommunications provider. The company has two branches, one in Aden under control of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, and the other in Sanaa under the control of the Houthi group.


Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis said Monday they had exposed a "spy" network aiding the United States and Israel and arrested suspected members of it. The Houthi-run Saba news agency published footage of the detained men, describing them as "spies recruited to collect information and monitor sites operated by the Yemeni (Houthi) armed forces on Yemen's western coast for the benefit of the American and Israeli enemy". According to Saba, the group had been recruited after the Houthis in November began targeting vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, disrupting global trade in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians amid Israel's war on Gaza. No evidence was provided to substantiate the charges, which Saba said the suspects had confessed to.


The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on Tuesday two explosions were reported in the proximity of a merchant vessel 82 nautical miles south of Yemen's Aden.UKMTO reported that the vessel and all crew are safe and that authorities are investigating.Yemen’s Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea since November last year.


Israel’s seizure and closing of the Rafah crossing in Gaza raises concerns that already scarce supplies will be further depleted and lead to a “catastrophic” disaster. The incursion comes after Israel said it would continue its military operation in Rafah even after Hamas said it had accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by Qatari and Egyptian mediators. UN agencies and aid groups warn of devastating consequences of any Israeli military assault on Rafah after tens of thousands of Palestinians were ordered to evacuate before the attacks. At least 34,789 people have been killed and 78,204 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.