MP still hostage, fighting renewed in Al Jawf [Archives:2005/866/Front Page]

August 8 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Fighting renewed last Saturday between the two main tribes of Hamdan and Shawlan in the governorate of Al Jawf, 160 km to the northeast of the capital Sana'a. Four men were killed and tens were wounded in that fighting, when groups from the two sides met near the Al-Salman, military checkpoint in Al Jawf city entrance.

This dispute, which is 25 years old, renewed because Hamdan tribe accuses Al-Shawlan tribesmen of the attempted assassination against their leader sheikh Hassan Abdullah Al-Iraqi head of the Al Jawf local council An unidentified group shot Sheikh Al Iraqi last Wednesday, near Saba news agency. He was hit in the head and he is now being hospitalized in Saudi Arabia.

Five men from each of the two rival tribes, Hamdan and Shawlan, on top of them MP Alokimi, were detained. This is said to be ordered by the president to impose appeasement and stop the fierce fighting in which all types of weapons were used.

Security forces launched an arrest campaign on the Alshawlan tribesmen in Sana'a. The interior ministry is said to be holding about 13 members of this tribe.

The vengeance driven tribal violence, has so far claimed five thousands lives, according to formal estimates.

The Yemeni tribes have lately pressured the government over the petroleum price hikes. They blocked the highway roads, leading to shortage in cooking gas in most Yemeni towns.

Some tribal sources think that the government has an inclination to keep the Yemeni tribes engaged in continuous conflict to exhaust their military and economic stocks.