Scheduled program for ending Sa’ada war [Archives:2007/1076/Front Page]

August 13 2007

Mohammed bin Sallam
SA'ADA, August 12 ) Press sources revealed last Saturday that the Qatari mediation committee along with the presidential committee supervising implementation of the ceasefire agreement in Sa'ada, specified a schedule for Houthis to retreat from mountains, preparing to execute remaining articles of the agreement reached by the government and Houthis. The two committees gave 48 hours to begin implementing the schedule.

According to Al-Shara' newspaper, the schedule of the presidential and Qatari committees gives Houthi loyalists 20 days to descend from the mountains, opposite to the demand of local authorities in Sa'ada which specified three days. Abdulmalik Al-Houthi demanded 23 days.

The special representative of Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, Saleh Habra, one of the founders of Al-Mou'men Youth Association headed from Sa'ada to Sana'a to retrieve the decision of the committee and deliver it to Al-Houthi.

The 48-hour deadline specified by the presidential and Qatari committees entails the announcement of the government as well as Houthi loyalists to commit to the specified schedule. Failure to implement the ceasefire agreement will be upon the party that does not stick to its commitment within the specified period.

Media sources revealed that the most prominent obstacles facing the on-going dialogue between the two committees and the Houthis is the Houthi's insistence that the government adhere to their demands and hand over the body of Hussein Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi who was killed September 10, 2004 in unclear circumstances.

Sources close to Abdulmalik Al-Houthi said that there is a firm belief amongst most Houthis that Hussein Al-Houthi is still alive. The same sources indicated that the refusal of authorities to hand over the body or inform the Houthis of his burial place enhanced their suspicions regarding his death. Some thought that the authorities refused to inform them of the burial location in order to prevent his gravesite from becoming a visiting place recalled by his followers both from within and outside Yemen.

In releases to media, official sources pointed out that the presidential committee held a meeting with the Qatari mediation delegation. They studied the response of Abdulmalik Al-Houthi to the committee demands, particularly his compliance with the first article of the cease-fire agreement related to handing over medium-size weapons and army equipment to the mediation committee along with the evacuation of 30 sites specified by the presidential committee.

The committee affirmed that Abdulmalik Al-Houthi refused to evacuate four areas, including Matara and A-Naqa'h where followers of Abdullah Al-Razami, the second member of Al-Mou'men Youth Association and considered one of the most dangerous followers of Al-Houthi, reside. It is widely believed that Al-Houthi will refuse to fully comply with the agreement reached between the government and Houthi loyalists. reported that Sheik Hussein Abdullah Hussein Al-Ahmar, chairman of the national solidarity assembly, denied the mobilization of Hashid tribe members against Al-Houhti loyalists or his support of the Houthi agenda. He stated that his patriotism prevents him to stand with the Houthi movement and he is not in favor of feuds and wars, affirming that his elder brother Sheik Sadiq recruited 600 warriors from Hashid that are still in camps.

Media sources revealed, with regard to the security situation in areas controlled by Houthi loyalists, that nine people were killed among the tribes in Bait Al-Russ area belonging to Washha district in Hajah governorate on Thursday after attacking a site fortified by Al-Houthi followers.

Local sources in the governorate told the media that 29 persons were injured during the attack launched by tribes controlled by Sheiks Ali Aiydh and Mohammed Hazam in Bait Al-Russ on Mugran Mountanin.

Ali Al-Dhabiyani, first secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party, told that the leadership of the JMP in the governorate met the governor last Thursday. The JMP demanded discontinuation of any military mobilization against Al-Houthi followers based on joining the conflict in Washha with that in Sa'ada in an attempt to avoid armed confrontations.

Al-Dhabiyani added that the governor agreed on the proposal of the JMP, but local sources in the governorate said that the first armored division concentrated in Hajah headed by Brigadier General Ali Muhsen Al-Ahmar and led by Abdulwahab Qa'sham and his vice deputy Abdullah Saraj provided support to tribes in Bait Al-Russ and incited them to fight. Nine fighters supporting the state were killed and 10 were injured. The same sources revealed that loss of lives took place among the Houthis but the magnitude of fatality is not known due to their fortification in Mugran Mountain.

The conflict of Washha in Hajah and Haidan in Sa'ada are among the issues Houthi leaders have demanded to be resolved through the Sa'ada ceasefire agreement. Houthi leaders also demanded lifting the siege of the army and tribes in these two districts.