Saleh accuses foreign parties of disturbing security [Archives:2007/1065/Front Page]

July 5 2007

Mohammed bin Sallam
SA'ADA, July 4 ) In a press conference held on Tuesday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh assured there is no pact with Houthis and Qatar is just making its good offices in accordance with the resolution of the National Defense Council, maintaining Yemen accepts no mediation that interferes with its internal affairs. He added the deadline for Houthi loyalists to hand over their arms will end on Thursday, July 5.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh hinted that parties having enmity with Saudi Arabia and the regime in Sana'a wanted to settle their scores in Sa'ada, continuing that the Qatari mediation is pushed by other parties after their project failure in Sa'da.

Sa'ada's tribal sources mentioned the situation is very tense despite the fact that Houthis are committed to the demands of Sa'ada ceasefire committee. Still, Houthi elements fear the treasury of military leaders who try to hinder the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

The sources added Houthis demands guarantee that a secure permanent peace and further evacuation of the army from the villages and cities in order to enable residents to return back to their homes. Moreover, they ask for refraining pro-government tribes from harassing or attacking them.

“There are influential parties trying their best to foil the peace agreement and Qatari mediation in implementation of foreign agenda,” said the sources.

They went on to say Houthis fear such parties would betray them after they desert their strategic positions and hand in their arms and thus kill or arrest them.

Media sources revealed the committee including the Qatari representatives visited on Tuesday many areas in Magz, Sahar, Baqem and Qataber districts to make sure that Houthis had evacuated their positions in those areas.

The sources added that the committee embarked on visiting Dhahian city earlier heading to Al-Ja'malah, the crossroad of Najd Khalaf Yasnam, Rugafah, Baqem, Qataber and Om Lila, noting Houthis have already evacuated their positions in Al-Mazar'e in Dhahian's Al Watid. Moreover, the army replaced Houthis in all areas already evacuated by them.

Local source in Sa'ada mentioned a number of Houthi elements, unhappy with the recent peace agreement, attacked military sites on Tuesday in Al Shawkan of Sahar district's Al Ghubair Mountain. They also abducted two soldiers, one in Bani Mauth and the other in Ghamer.

Further, the same source pointed out armed clashes took place on Tuesday and involved the citizens and Houthi followers in Ghamer district and Haydan's Dhwaib, Al Miran and Gaza'.

26 reported informed sources in Sa'ada as saying the committee in charge of implementing Sa'ada ceasefire agreement gave a three-day deadline for Houthi loyalists to bind themselves to the articles of the agreement; otherwise the whole responsibility will be laid on them.

It added Houthis as of now refuse to hand in their heavy or medium-sized weapons, or to descend their mountainous sites in an effort to stall the implementation of the agreement. They also attack citizens and military personnel every now and then.

Sources in Hajjah revealed Houthis shifted the battles from Sa'ada to the neighboring Hajjah, wherein many villages of Washhah's Bani Hani witnessed bloody clashes between Houthis and the residents.

The sources went to say that over 700 Houthi loyalists infiltrated last Friday to Hajjah and seized four villages there and it is believed they are those who deserted their positions in Sa'ada according to the recent agreement.

Locals of these villages clashed with Houthis using light arms and guns; the clashes left behind 14 dead and 40 others injured but the losses among Houthis were unidentified.

However, the locals managed to restore back three villages while the fourth one is still seized by Houthis. The sources also mentioned that over 400 locals fled their villages fearing the assaults of Houthi followers.

Local sources in Hajjah believe the clashes have nothing to do with the government war on Houthis, maintaining the war ongoing in Washhah district is linked with what he called as “war traders” and hinting influential personalities there are behind such clashes.

Islah Party's assistant secretary General Mohammed Al-Sa'adi assured the committee due to be performed by the Joint Meeting Parties will work on treating the causes and consequences of Sa'ada war as well as preventing its occurrence once again.

Al-Sa'adi further indicated when Sa'ada crisis's cause was doctrinal, it was not necessary to resolve it with arms and this requires the involvement of all political powers.

He went on to say his party rejects any politicization of sectarian or religious issues in way that creates an endless conflict, stressing that everything should be discussed with transparency and without resorting to military options.

Moreover, Al-Sa'adi held the regime accountable for Sa'ada events and renewed Yemen in need for an objective study of all issues in order to make a national vision for the development of political process.

He added the wrong policies of the regime cause the problems to persist in the country, maintaining the existing regime depends on making the crisis in a way that ensures the continuity of conflicts; wherein the poor will pay for instability, underdevelopment, and the draining of the public money.