As Al-Misrakh Suffers from a Military Offensive BUT…WILL AL-JABRI RESTORE HIS RIGHT? [Archives:2000/30/Reportage]

July 24 2000

Imad Al-Saqqaf,
Taiz Bureau chief
Yemen Times
It all began with a plot of land owned by the Jabri Family who possesses all legal documents to prove their ownership. It is located beside the Air Defense Camp in Al-Misrakh District, Taiz Province.
Two years ago, the owner, Abdul Wali Al-Jabri decided to carry out construction work on his plot of land. Simultaneously the Commander of Air Defense decided to forcibly seize it. As a result clashes took place between Al-Jabri Family and Air Defense personnel. Jabri’s nephew was killed.
Since then, Al-Jabri became an avenger of his nephew’s blood and a visitor of courts demanding restoration of his plot of land. A month ago, when he failed in all his attempts to secure his rights, he kidnapped the General Staff of the Air Defense. He took the abducted military officer to Jabel Sabir in Al-Misrakh district. As a result of the efforts of reconciliation by the Commander of Air Forces, Brigadier General, Muhammed Saleh Al-Ahmer, it was agreed to release the kidnapped officer against payment of Al-Jabri “blood money” (compensation) and return his plot of land to him. Soon after freeing the officer, Al-Misrakh citizens were surprised to see a convoy of twenty armed vehicles and a large number of soldiers in Al-Matali village Ñ Al-Jabri’s birth place in Al-Misrakh district. The military vehicle took positions along the road leading to the village while a tank bombarded the village from Mafraq Njd Qaseem demanding the surrender of Al-Jabri, on charges of kidnapping the General Staff.
After the arrival of contingent of Armed Forces in the area, women and children fled the village and took shelter on the mountains and neighboring villages. The Army personnel robbed the residents’ abandoned houses and ransacked the village. They remained stationed there until Al-Jabri surrendered. Meanwhile the artillery and machine guns continued raiding the houses. The village remained under military siege for seven days while some shaikhs began efforts for mediations to hand-over Al-Jabri provided that the problem is solved within the framework of tribal norms without going through the security apparatus or court.
On Monday, July 10, Al-Jabri surrendered to the area shaikhs who betrayed him and handed him over to the Criminal Investigation, Taiz. On the same day, a responsible source at the Ministry of Interior said that Al-Jabri, charged of being responsible for Al-Misrakh incidents ,will be brought before the court.
The next day, that is on Tuesday, some heavy and medium Armed Forces vehicles began to withdraw from the village while some remained there.
On Wednesday, July 12, while the “Yemen Times” correspondent was following up the victims of Mauwiya, some people from Al- Misrakh arrived carrying a 12-year-old boy with a bullet injury on his head. They said the bullet was fired by the soldiers stationed in the village. The boy eventually died.
From Al-Misrakh district our correspondent reached Al-Matali village. Houses here are built on hill tops. Villagers work in farms and sell qat which is considered to be the main source of their income. The level of education, particularly among girls, is very low although there is a secondary school holding 600 students. Despite the un-even road leading to the village and its location on mountain-top, Al-Matali has electricity. The credit for electricity supply goes to Dr. Abdul Wahab Mahmood, a native of Al-Matali, who was a former minister of electricity.
” On arrival we observed the presence of soldiers and three military vehicles with machine guns at the entrance of the village while other soldiers were stationed on the mountain overlooking the village,” our correspondent said. He added : ” My mission seemed difficult in view of the presence of soldiers scattered here and there terrorizing the villagers. Thanks to the cooperation of the village youths, I was able to reach Al-Jabri’s residence……..and why not? The doors were wide open with windows broken and nothing left in the house. The owner of this house had surrendered himself to the Security authorities. His wife and four children had left the village leaving behind the belongings as a booty for the soldiers. Among those who fled the village were also the Jerbri brothers: Abdul Wahab, Saif, Hazza, Abdul Wahed and Abdulla, with their wives and children.”Our correspondent went on to say:- “Then we moved to the damaged and ransacked houses. Only one house was in shambles. Its owner said that his family members and he were not at home at the time of bombardment; but now he sleeps with his nine children in a tent erected close to his house.”Our correspondent also saw ten other houses which were partly damaged. The people whom he met told him that they had left the village a week ago keeping the doors open for the soldiers to steal their belongings and damage their qat farms: their only source of livelihood.
” The village youths were found to be indignant against the presence of the soldiers and the State as well as the security machinery’s which besieged the village with cruel hands. These youths’ magnitude of anger could be seen from some of the banners hoisted on the walls and water tanks. One such banner read: “Al-Jabri’s cause is the cause of all sons of Al-Misrakh and Taiz.”In all, Al-Jabri’s encounter with the security authorities is not the first; but it won’t be the last in as far as citizens’ disputes with military men are concerned. They deal with them arbitrarily and arrogantly. Instead of solving their problems, they complicate them. They terrorize the peaceful citizens and plunder their houses. It is recalled that MP Al-Sami’ee’s was the first case. Today, Al-Jabri’s is second. Tomorrow we expect a third as long as security men continue such barbaric practices.
New Facts and Developments in the Mohammed Adam’s Case
Reliable sources told the Yemen Times that the German report indicated that the date of Zainab’s death goes back to three months after her disappearance. Same sources added that that would lead to new turns in the case of the Mohammed Adam and that investigations were conducted to bring to light different persons who were suspected to be involved with Adam in these crimes.
Informed sources do confirm that there is a possibility that these crimes were committed outside the morgue of the faculty and that there were some other kidnapping incidents that had happened inside the university even before the disappearance of Zainab.
Steps are taken to transfer some body parts and bones that were listed in the morgue of the Faculty to Germany so as to make some tests in accordance with a decision passed by the judge of Bani Hareth Court, Ali Al-Aslami. These bones are expected to be transferred to Germany this week.
Laboratory test’s results indicate that there is a difference between the disappearance of these girls and their murders which may lead to new turns in the course of the case. This will support the involvement of a prostitution net in the Faculty.
Bani Hareth has adjourned the sessions to the 5th August, 2000 when the German experts finish their final report.
Sources told YT that an armed group attacked last Wednesday evening the Criminal Investigation Office in Sana’a. Soldiers and the attackers who were borne in four cars exchanged fire for almost an hour.
Informed sources maintained that the attackers opened fire on the car of the CIO’s manager when it was leaving the office. Serious damage has been caused to the office and the car.
Other sources maintained that the attackers may belong to Hamdan tribe which threatened to take revenge on the manager as he released Adam and gave him an official document proving that he was innocent when he first entered the CIO.