Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's really happening in Arhab?

A mother mourning her son killed by an air strike in Arhab

By Ali Saeed for the Yemen Times

"Lacking safe access for media coverage, the war which erupted last May between opposition tribesmen and the Republican Guard in Arhab continues to be waged.

Arhab, which sits 30km north of Sana'a and has a population of about 200,000 people, is full of armed tribesmen who strictly adhere to tribal customs and have a very limited tolerance for state soldiers unwilling to listen to their demands.

The eight-month-long war commenced after local tribesmen sided with the youth revolution calling for the fall of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year-old regime.

The Republican Guard, Yemen's elite army division, is commanded by outgoing President Saleh’s son and has five military bases in Arhab.

“Arhab represents the gate to Sana'a – if tribesmen took control of the area, it would mean that Sana’a was in their hands,” Saleh Al-Zubair, an Arhabi tribal leader loyal to Saleh’s regime, told the Yemen Times...(read more)


The bus driver describing how the car was hit by the air strike.

Arhab: The Northern Frontline of the Yemeni Revolution

By Catherine Shakdam for foreignpolicyblogs.com

Over the past few weeks, the Yemeni government has been pounding the village of Arhab, which is situated on the northern outskirts of the capital, Sana’a.

As a result, thousands of villagers have had to flee the war zone and seek refuge in the neighboring mountains; hoping that they will be able to return to their homes soon. Forced to camp out in the harsh wilderness of the northern Yemeni mountains, with no water, no electricity and very little food, these families have experienced the cruelty of the Saleh Regime in all its glory.

And while journalists and analysts prefer to concentrate on southern Yemen and the terrorist threat, Arhab has been left to endure its fate, ignored by a world that does not understand that this village holds the key to the toppling of the Regime.

Why Arhab?

Arhab is situated about 20 kilometers north of Sana’a, in direct line to its international airport and near the most important Republican Guard base in the region....(read more)