Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sons of dead tribal leader try to unite against father’s ally, President Saleh

By Nasser Arrabyee/26/02/2011

A tribal leader from the most influential tribe in Yemen, Hashed, said Saturday he would join the young people in the streets who demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“I’m announcing my resignation from the ruling party, party of corruption, and my joining to the revolution of the young people until this regime is toppled,” Hussein Al Ahmar, a former close friend of President Saleh, addressed tens of thousands of tribesmen in Amran city, the stronghold of Hashed tribe.

Although Hussein Al Ahmar is only the brother of the historic head of Hashed, he was speaking in the rally in the name of the Hashed and Bakil tribes, the most two influential tribes in Yemen.

Earlier this month, Hussein said he would send his armed tribesmen to the capital Sana’a to protect the anti-Saleh demonstrators.

Many tribal leaders from the two tribes like Hamoud Atef, Abdu Rabu Rajeh, and Mohammed Naji Al Shayef, said in statements, Hussein Al Ahmar was “only representing himself”.

Al Ahmar’s rally of tens of thousands of tribesmen from Hashed and Bakil, who were chanting slogans against president Saleh, came only two days after a rally of tens of thousands of tribesmen from the same two tribes who were chanting slogans to support Saleh in the neighboring province of Hajja.

The whole Yemen is divided into three main tribes, Hashed, Bakil, and Madhaj: Hashed, the most influential and always ruling over history, though the smallest in terms of population.

Bakil, the second most influential with more population. Madhaj, the least influential and least important though the largest in terms of population.

The official head of Hashed is Sadeq Abdullah Al Ahmar, brother of Hussein. Sadek is trying to copy his dead father who used to play a balanced role between President Saleh and his detractors although he was (the father) the head of the largest opposition party, Islah.

“I’m the brother of all,” Sadeq said last Monday in his father’s weekly forum, when he was asked, who he supports, President Saleh or the opposition.

To this end, Himyar Al Ahmar, brother of Hussein, who is the deputy speaker of Parliament, and member of the ruling part, said he thwarted an intelligence plan to assassinate opposition figures including his brother Hamid Al Ahamar, the most influential detractor of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Himyar said in a statement early Saturday, that his body guards arrested Friday afternoon February 25th, 2011, a group of armed men working for the National Security Agency (NSA) close to his house in the street of October 14 in Sana’a.

The group, dressed in civil clothes, using a normal car ( taxi), were collecting information about the houses of the influential opposition figures especially the house of Hamid Al Ahmar, the statement said.

Hours before Al Ahmar’s statement, the ministry of interior accused the bodyguards of Himyar Al Ahmar, and his brother Hamid Al Ahmar of shooting and injuring a man and woman for “unknown reasons”.

However, Al Ahmar’s statement said when the group tried to escape “ they drove crazily and ran over a woman passer-by and tried to shoot randomly and injuring one of them.”

The ministry of interior said that Sabri Mohammed Al Tharhani,35, and Takiyah Mohammed Al Sermi,50, were taken to hospital after being injured with bullets of the bodyguards of Himyar and Hamid Al Ahmar, without giving any further details.

Al Ahmar’s statement said that the deputy of NSA, Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, nephew of President Saleh, came immediately to the place with many military vehicles escorting him. The car of the group was taken by Ammar, said the statement, without mentioning the fate of the group.

The ministry of interior said “ a citizen” was kidnapped by the bodyguards of Al Ahmar brothers.

The billionaire Hamid Al Ahmar, is the most influential opposition figure who clearly says the solution for Yemen’s crisis is only the ouster of President Saleh, unlike his Islamist party that dominates the opposition coalition, which until now say officially “serious reforms” not ouster of Saleh, will solve the problem.

According press reports, the fiery and conflicting statements between the State ( or rather Saleh) and Al Ahmar’s sons, came after a phone call from President Saleh to his man, Himyar Al Ahmar, asking him to prevent his brother Hamid from leading the anti-Saleh young people in the streets.

The opposition coalition say they support the limited, but increasing demonstrations of the young people in the street. But they have not decided yet to take to the streets with them.

Hamid Al Ahmar, known as the money man of the opposition’s hawks, expects the opposition coalition to take to the street soon.

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