Tribal clashes in Khawlan stopped, others flare up in Amran [Archives:2005/854/Front Page]

June 27 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Tribal mediators have been able to bring an end to the armed confrontation between the tribes of Nahd and Kibs in Khawlan area, 40 kms to the east of the city of Sana'a after weeks of clashes which left one dead and 56 wounded one of whom seriously.

Military vehicles which had withdrawn from the warring area, returned later and are still stationed in positions between the two parties lest fighting starts anew.

The two tribes have been disputing over the ownership of a mountain for eight years. A series of sporadic fights resulted in 15 deaths and over 75 wounded. Several houses were destroyed.

Local councilors of Hisn and Jihanah districts resigned in protest against military's inaction and delayed response which came after local council officers appealed to the President and the security forces to resolve the problem. They said the security forces should have taken quick action to prevent fighting.

In another area, located sixty kms to the northwest of Sana'a, tribal clashes erupted between the tribes of Thu al-Usaili, Thu Ubadi, and Bait Soor. The fighting, which took place in the area of Harth Sifian, within the province of Amran, five persons were killed and eight wounded. The mediation of Harth Sifian (of Hashid mother tribe) had failed to stop the continuing war. However, sources told the Yemen Times that, after the intervention of the military and mediators, the war could be curbed. Several sorts of small and medium arms were used by the belligerents. The reason for the fighting is reported to have been a dispute over a truck and tractor which led up eventually to the use of arms. One of the wounded was a boy who was injured when a house was destroyed with shells. A large number of livestock were killed.

The Peace House Organization which attempts to resolve revenge and violence cases, issued a statement last week that warned that a tribal fight might flare up in al-Mutoon district, Marib province, between the tribes of Al-Hamad and Al-Mahdi. It called on the authority to quickly intervene before the current truce between the two sides is over.

The US Intelligence Economic Unit has predicted in its report that Yemen's future is threatened by tribal violence and government's lax grip over rural areas.

“It seems that Yemen continues to be ruined by tribal violence,” the report stated. It cited a battle early December, 2004, when 30 persons were killed in the province of Jawf.

The report said that problems between tribes leave a little chance for the state to maneuver. It added that as long as its grip over the more remote areas remain weak, the government will continue to be unable to separately warn tribes and win their cooperation.

Early this year, the President invited tribes for general reconciliation. Some of these tribes agreed to reconcile and erase past feuds in response to the call. However, the period set for the reconciliation is about to finish while the concerned governmental authorities had done nothing to resolve the reasons behind the revengeful clashes.

Some sources expect that more tribal fights will take place at the end of this year when the one-year truce made among disputing tribes pursuant to the President's call will come to an end.