Saleh Meets Marib Tribes to Diffuse Tension [Archives:1998/27/Front Page]

June 6 1998

President Ali Abdullah Saleh received earlier this week tribal elders from Marib. According to Yemen Times sources, sheikhs from seven clans of the Jahm tribe met the president and presented their grievances. They left with him requests which he said he will look into favorably.
Some of the demands have to do with compensations on the flood damages of 1995. Other demands include reversal of the recent price hikes.
The tribes promised to end all violence against the state and to stop sabotaging the oil pipeline passing through the region.
Last week, the tribes had punctured a sixth hole in less than two weeks in the Yemen Hunt Oil Company pipeline carrying oil from Marib to the Red Sea. The YHOC engineers again repaired the damage. “It appears, the tribes have a map of the underground route of the oil pipeline,” commented one oil source. The oil spills, so far exceed 20,000 barrels. But a more serious damage is done to the environment.
At another level, there is now a lull in the violent confrontation that had occurred between the Jida’an tribe and the army. A similar lull has reigned in the other showdown between the Abeedah tribe and the army. Both tribes are now holding talks with the Army Chief of Staff, Abdullah Alaiwah, and military/security personnel.
The sheikhs of Marib and Al-Jawf have issued a communique petitioning President Saleh to consider their plight and take steps to remedy their conditions.