Saturday, 23 July 2011

Islamist party pushes Yemen towards Somalia-style chaos, analyst says

By Nasser Arrabyee/23/07/2011

The Islamist opposition party Islah may lead Yemen to an absolute chaos like Somalia by its supporting armed tribesmen and Al Qaeda, said a Yemeni political analyst Saturday.

The socialist opposition analyst Ahmed Saleh Al Feqi warned from the wars launched by the Islah party against the army in many places in Yemen like Arhab and Abyan.

“These irresponsible acts from Islah pave the way towards Somalization here in Yemen,” Al Faqi said in a lengthy article titled “Islah and Somalization” and published in Al Tagheer website.

“ Islah is leading us in the same road of Somalia, although there are many ways to deal with the mistakes of the army other than attacking and destroying it,” said Al Faqi referring to many operations implemented by Islah tribesmen against the army in Nehm and Arhab areas over the last few days.

Islah party mainly leads the 6-month protests that demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and it also leads the opposition coalition which includes the Islamists, Socialist, and Nasserites.

Aidh Al Shabwani and his nephew Awadh were buried in their home village in Abaida of Mareb province last Wednesday, about one week after they were killed in Zinjubar, the capital of the southern province of Abyan where Al Qaeda fighters have been battling with the government troops and the local tribesmen since they declared an Islamic Emirate late last May. Some tribal leaders including Al Shabwani’s relatives belong to Islah.

Aidh Al Shabwani, the leader of Al Qaeda in the eastern province of Mareb, survived an assassination attack by airstrikes on his farm last year. The death and burial of Al Shabwani was confirmed by many relatives and friends who attended the funeral and burial.

Musab Mabkhoot Al Sharif was also buried in Mareb two week earlier this month after he was killed in Zinjubar also where he was fighting with Al Qaeda operatives.

Mabkhoot Al Sharif, father of Musab, is the head of the opposition Islamist party, Islah, in Mareb.

Saleem Heba, abu Eyman Al Mesry, an Egyptian Al Qaeda operative was killed in Zinjubar earlier this month.

Abu Eyman Al Mesry lived with his wife in a farm under the protection of the prominent tribal leader of Bakil tribesmen in Al Jawf province, Ameen Al Okaimi. The eastern province of Al Jawf is totally under the control of Al Okaimi and his tribesmen since last April when the governor and security and military commanders returned to Sanaá leaving military camps and every thing for the opposition tribesmen.

Like Mabkhoot Al Sharfi in Mareb, Ameen Al Okaimi is the top leader of the Islamist opposition party, Islah, in Al Jawf.

The two Al Qaeda operatives Musab Al Sharif and Abu Eyman Al Mesry,and their ties to prominent Islamist leaders in these two provinces raised many questions about the role of the Islah party in the ongoing war in many places in Yemen.

In the capital Sanaá, for instance, two of the Islah prominent leaders, Sadeq Al Ahmar and his brother Hamid, are still in a war with the government troops despite a fragile truce after a great deal of casualties and damages from both sides during about 40 days of war in Al Ahasaba area starting from late May.

The billionaire Islah leading member Hamid Al Ahmar is one of the main financial supporters of the anti-Saleh protests. He has been grooming himself for presidency since 2006 when his presidential candidate Faisal Bin Shamlan lost.

Other tribal leaders belong to Islah are also in continuous war with the armed forces loyal to President Saleh four areas at least: Arhab, north of Sanaá, Nehm, east of Sanaa, Al Haima, west of Sanaá, and Taiz south of Sanaá.

Almost daily clashes take places in these areas between the republican guards and armed tribesmen led local heads of Islah: Mansour Al Hanik of Arhab, Abdullah Shibana of Nehm, Rabish bin Wahban of Al Haima, Hamoud Al Mekhlafi of Taiz.

The defected general and Islamist-oriented Ali Muhsen, who has excellent and historic relations with leaders of Islah, is widely believed to be supporting all those tribesmen in all those areas in an attempt to weaken the most highly qualified forces of the republican guards.


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