Higher directives for arresting military leader [Archives:2007/1044/Local News]

April 23 2007

SANA'A, April 22 ) High directives ordered arresting Brig. Saleh Al-Dhanin and his sons together with other 40 armed followers over the clashes that took place last Monday in Asr where Al-Dhanin's sons attacked a plot of land belonging to an Emirate investor and caused the death of three soldiers affiliated with the military police.

The incident was met with a wide public rage which led to the removal of Brig. Saleh Al-Dhanin from his post as a leader of Khalid bin Al-Waleed military battalion, a post he assumed for over 25 years. The directives imposed the arresting of Al-Dhanin along with his two sons and referring them to a military judiciary.

Murad tribe, whose son was among those killed in the incident, called its sons for a demonstration in Al-Sabeen Square where over than 400 people gathered, asking President Saleh to arrest Al-Dhanin, his sons, and the armed men affiliated with them.

According to a tribal source, President Saleh delegated the leader of the Military Police to address the demonstrators, showing them copies of Saleh's orders dictating the arrest of the perpetrators and the removal Al-Dhanin from his military post as well as considering those killed as martyrs.

Brig. Al-Dhanin, who is very close to President Saleh, is still hiding in his Sana'a house after Brig. Jubran Al-Hashidi was appointed in his place. Meanwhile, high ranking military leaders are showing sympathy with him since last Tuesday.

Delay in arresting Al-Dhanin and implementing Saleh's directives made victims kinsmen cast doubts on the non-seriousness of the Ministry of Interior to arrest them Further, they fear reconciliation which is the case with a lot of similar issues that took place in the past particularly when high ranking officials are involved in.

Observers considered the incident to be a test for Saleh's seriousness to put an end for land lootings by military leaders and those close to decision-making circles, as well as to provide a safe environment for investments.

The incident has just came few months after land corruption file in Aden was closed under presidential directives and after several high ranking military officials were pointed to be involved in such corruption cases.