Following an assassination attempt on his brother MP accuses authorities of fomenting conflict [Archives:2005/877/Front Page]

September 15 2005

AL-JAWF – Sept.13- The MP Amin al-Ukaimi, one of the prominent sheikhs in al-Jawf Governorate confirmed to the Yemen Times that his brother Rabe' al-Ukaimi was subjected to an assassination attempt last Sunday while he was on his way to the Governmental Complex in the city.

He said that his brother, who was summoned by officials in al-Jawf governorate to come to the office of the political security for a discussion of the conflicts between al-Shawlan and Hamdan tribes, was appalled when anonymous men open fire on him, 150m away from the Governmental Complex where he was intending to reach for attending the meeting.

Rabe' and his fellow men escaped the shooting of fire unhurt while two tribesmen form Hamdan who masterminded the ambush received bad injuries when al-Ukaimi aides returned fire.

Amin al-Ukaimi believed this would breach the one-year truce reached between the two conflicting tribes under the direct supervision of HE President Saleh. He accused some officials in the governorate of backing Hamdan Tribe to which they belong and demanded implementation of the arbitration reached by the mediation committee and the intensification of troops in the area.

The MP has been detained in a defense ministry prison for two months along with Sheikh Abdulwali al-Ukaimi and another fifteen and five sheikhs from al-Shawlan and Hamdan tribes as hostages.

The two tribes did already sign a truce last Wednesday in a hope of a ceasefire between the two parties who have been facing revenge incidents for over 25 years which have claimed lives of 70 people and injured hundreds on both sides.

The committee made up of a number of al-Jawf sheikhs made last week arbitration on the case, which it also forwarded to President Saleh who showed his agreement on it and pledged to pay costs of the arbitration. Regarding the case of disputes over land, the President vowed to settle it after the holy month of Ramadan.

On the other hand, some prominent tribal sheikhs urged the President of the Republic to intervene to end the fighting between al-Mahajer Tribe from Nihm and al-Inaz from Arhab that started one month ago. Three people were killed and dozens wounded in the fighting.

The tribal mediation attempts failed to put an end to the fighting between the two parties. The tribal clashes broke out once again after the truce's period of validity came to an end.

Observers of the situation hold the view that tribal conflicts are on the rise and that parties in the government incite such conflicts with the intention of uprooting the tribal community and weakening its military and material strength, particularly after Sa'ada events, backed by some tribes, cost the state heavy losses.

The strategic report released by the Yemeni Center for Strategic Studies stated the consecutive Yemeni governments spoiled the Yemeni tribal entity and aimed to marginalize its forces by inciting conflicts within parties and tribal communities.

The consecutive Yemeni governments spawned new sheikhs in some tribes to guarantee their loyalty for the authorities and generate disputes among tribesmen.

The report indicates that marginalizing the role of these tribes and fomenting conflicts between tribesmen will help proliferate the culture of violence and revenge in the Yemeni tribal community.