Mediators face difficulties in Sa’ada [Archives:2004/761/Front Page]

August 5 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
A member of the mediation committee entrusted with exploring means of settling the Sa'ada events and who declined to be identified, had in a phone conversation with Yemen Times on Tuesday praised the President for giving strict directives for facilitating mission of the committee to prevent any attempts by some influential military men to set obstacles in their way and let the committee move smoothly according to its program meant for putting an end to the fighting between the Yemenis.
“Today we are more optimistic than two days earlier about settling the crisis between the government and Sheikh Al-Houthi. We have found a great difficulty to convince some influential people to stick to rules and conditions we had prescribed after receiving the President's directives to speed up resolution of the problem,” said he.
The committee member had further said that the president had responded to the committee chairman Abdulwahab al-Anisi's complaint about difficulties facing their task and gave his orders to provide the committee with a helicopter to facilitate their travels between Sa'ada and Mran mountain where al-Houthi is taking it as his headquarters. At the end of his statement, the source expressed his regret over the killing of eight troops and wounding of 11 others on August 2nd in the area, due to a breach on the truce between the two sides.
A source close to Sheikh Al-Houthi said on telephone on Tuesday that the committee, consisting of prominent military, social, political and religious personalities, was moving earth and heaven to reach a solution to the 50-day crisis between the government and Sheikh Al-Houthi who is entrenching with his followers in Mran mountains.
Al-Houthi has consented to all conditions forwarded by the small committee last Saturday, but he put a condition that the committee should firstly search for facts and reveal to the Yemeni people who is actually responsible for death of hundreds of Yemenis, though the problem was merely political and could have been resolved through dialogue, and not with warplanes, missiles, and tanks.
The source added: “AL-Houthi does not object to settling the crisis between him and the state in order to spare Yemenis's blood. But there is a group of military influentials and others who want it to remain aflame to serve their own interests and their malicious aims.”
The source concluded saying, “If the government is really serious to settle the problem, it should not engage the army, and authorize the mediators to resolve it in a way that does not go against jurisprudence and the highest national interests.
Another small committee, consisting of 12 personalities, flew aboard a helicopter Tuesday morning to Sa'ada and met with Sheikh Al-Houthi to complete ngotiations with him under government's conditions.
Among member of the committee were Cleric Mohammed Mohammed Al-Mansour, cleric Ibrahim Al-Wazir, Sheikh Ismail Al-Houthi. Cleric Ahmed Mohammed Al-Shami, leader of Al-Haq Party, Mr. Mohammed Qahtan of the Islah Party, Mr. Mohammed Ghaleb of the YSP, Mr. Ali Saif Hassan, Sheikh Saleh Al-Wajman, Mr. Mohammed Al-Khawi of the Al-Shura Council, Yahya Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi, MP and brother to Hussein Al-Houthi.
A tribal source, spoke under condition of unanimity, expressed his anger at demolishing a religious school in Razih area adjacent to Saudi borders by a military group, under pretext that it spreads the Zaidi sect's teachings.
“The Tatars in the past did not do such things. This misdeed does not show goodwill on part of the government. Instead, the building of the school could have been used as a government department, hospital, or even a police station,” added the source.