Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hadhramaut In A State Of Flux

Sheikh Sa'ad Bin Habrish Al Hamuumi was killed by Yemen's
security forces, earlier in December in Seiyun twon

"The region of Hadhramaut is on edge, as a critical tribal deadline to Yemen's government and army ends at midnight today (20 December 2013, 2100 GMT).

The tribal conflagration in Hadhramaut began 2 weeks ago, when Sheikh Sa'ad Bin Habrish of the Hadhrami Al Hamum tribe was shot dead by Yemeni soldiers on 5 December in Seiyun town. The armed clash also killed 2 of the sheikh's bodyguards and at least 4 Yemeni soldiers. The killings itself were outrageous, as Sheikh Sa'ad was a widely respected tribal leader in Hadhramaut, and a leading advocate against the corruption and looting by the northern Yemeni elite, supported by corrupt army leaders, of Hadhramaut's oil wealth. 
In fact, Sheikh Sa'ad was the prime mover of a July 2013 Hadhramaut tribal statement which addressed these very issues. However, tempers reached boiling point in Hadhramaut when Yemen's Defence Ministry and other government media announced that Al Qaeda militants had been killed by army forces in Seiyun. This ridiculous (but all too common) claim by Yemen government media was retracted officially 2 hours later, but by then the false claim had been widely reported by the international media. On that night, armed clashes between tribesmen and Yemen army forces broke out throughout Hadhramaut : it remains unclear to this day how many were killed and injured on that night alone...."