Talks are underway for a possible thawing of relations between Yer Bouti and it’s Northern neighbors (CofC).
YB has seen a significant reduction in overland trade since severing diplomatic ties with all of the CofC Countries.
This includes Moroccodom which lays claim to the Western Sahara surrounding YB.
All overland North and South trade has been blocked for several Months now with very limited access sneaking out East across the desert.
Sea and air connections have kept the Country going but growth is impossible without land access to the rest of the region.
Rumors also abound this week of a deal with Al-Kabab of YB that would see the rebel group disarm completely within Yer Bouti.
This is believed to have come about due to the YB Armed Forces having regained effective control over all of it’s land boarders.
This may also pave the way for a larger U.I.N. sponsored amnesty in the area if terms can be agreed.
The Sheik has promised improved free health care, free education and increased employment. For the moment he remains popular, time will tell if he can deliver.
The Yer Bouti economy remains in a troubled and fragile state. Oil production and exports are down to a fraction of the pre nationalization levels.
Economic/military sanctions remain in place by the US, UK and Balzac but some respite has come from the EU on the economic side with the unfreezing of the YB
Sovereign wealth funds by several central Banks.
Food production has been stable and price controls remain on many items.
A plan for large public infrastructure projects is starting to add jobs but progress is slower than expected.
YB Military readiness remain somewhat low. Most of the Forces are still on the boarders but many of the old T55 and T62 are used as no more than dug in gun positions and road blocks.
One Battalion with newer equipment (T72, BMP2 and BTR-80) passes for the quick reaction force.
The Army is receiving the majority of the limited defence budget and by troop and vehicle numbers alone has secured the land boarders.
The Air Force is restricted in operations with some F5, Mig 21 and a few Mig 29’s available, most F4 and mig 23 are grounded.
The Navy remains in port.