Army deployed in Yemen streets after big failures of security forces
Transitional justice: When and who?
By Nasser Arrabyee, 07/01/2013
The army was deployed in the main cities of Yemen and security forces were pulled back to their barracks. The process started early morning of Monday January, 7th, 2013 in the capital Sanaa.
The President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi ordered the deployment of army after about 66 officers of different ranks from security and military were assassinated by motorcyclists in these cities including 17 in the capital Sanaa during 2012.
The step was understood as recognition from President Hadi that the security forces under the minister of interior had failed completely to maintain the security everywhere in the country including the capital.
However, deployment of army in the streets has not and will not reassure the Yemenis who feel the insecurity every day and realize the failure of ministry of interior to protect itself let alone the whole country.
"The people want stability, and stability comes from functioning institutions not from deployment of troops in the streets," said the political analyst Nabil Al Sufi.
"What did the army do in Abyan, or Mareb or Al Baidha," Al Sufi wondered in an obvious reference to the places where the troops also failed to defeat Al Qaeda.
To add insult to injury, the religious and tribal militants were seen in their places in the capital Sanaa even after the troops were deployed on Monday. Which means it is not only the hidden forces, like Al Qaeda, that make a lot Yemenis feel frustrated and pessimistic about deployment of troops in the streets.
"If militants are still in their barricades, here in Sanaa as we can see today after this deployment, then what the troops are looking for in the streets," wondered the journalist Mohammed Al Qadi who obviously referred to militants of influential tribal and religious leaders who are always "red lines" for any security or military measures. These militants seem to be not under any regulations or laws.
For example, the army can replace any check point of security forces but they can not replace a check point of tribesmen like those in Al Hasaba or Sufan area in the capital Sanaa. And even more, the troops can not even tell the armed tribesmen in these check points around the houses of tribal leaders, to stop doing this and go home.
These security and military developments came weeks after President Hadi issued decrees to unify and restructure the split army between the exPresident's son, Ahmed Ali, and the defected general Ali Muhsen.
The general Ali Muhsen, main supporter of the religious and tribal leaders's militants inside and outside Sanaa, seems to be in disagreement with President Hadi about the position he might hold after dissolution of his units.
The general Ahmed Ali arrived in Sanaa on Monday January 7th, 2013, after he spent weeks of vacation in Italy. Sources told the Weekly that President Hadi ordered Ahmed Ali to cut his vacation and come back immediately. The two rival generals were always making the equilibrium for President Hadi during the whole crisis especially after exPresident Saleh handed the power to the elected President Hadi in February 2012. Ahmed Ali was in his vacation in Italy when Hadi took the long-awaited decrees.
Meanwhile, the army is still in confrontation with Al Qaeda in many places. At least three Al Qaeda operatives were killed in confrontations with government troops and loyal tribesmen in the mountainous stronghold of Al Mahfad of the southern province of Abyan, said local sources Sunday.
The troops and loyal tribesmen forced about 200 Al Qaeda fighters to leave their positions in Thaykah area, Al Basham, Helwah and Wadi Omair after more than 10 hours of clashes, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the leader of Anti-Al Qaeda popular committees, Abdul Latif Al Sayed, said in a press interview Sunday that about 7000 operatives are fighting now with Al Qaeda including 1000 of different nationals all over the country.
Al Sayed, who was himself Al Qaeda leader before he defected last year, said that the majority of the Al Qaeda fighters were under 18 and had training in two schools in his home town of Jaar, which was announced as an Islamic Emirate before Al Qaeda was driven out from it on June last year.
Al Sayed, survived a number of Al Qaeda-planned assassination attempts, the last of which was in September in Aden when he was very seriously injured and taken to Saudi Arabia for treatments.
In Radaa,Al Baidha province, south east of the country, a tribal mediation convinced hundreds of Al Qaeda members and their supporters to stop demonstrations and disappear from streets, said sources Sunday.
Last Thursday and Friday, Al Qaeda and their supporters took to the streets of Radaa city with guns and Al Qaeda flags to condemn the continuous and increasing US drone attacks on their areas. The last drone attack last week, killed three operatives inlucing a middle lever leader in Al Masaneh area, the stronghold of Al Qaeda In Radaa.
During 2012, Al Qaeda killed 596 military and security officers and soldiers in different terrorist operations.
While the army and security killed 460 in different operations including the 56 US drone attacks all over the country.
Earlier in the week, Al Qaeda asked the army in Hudhrmout to leave their camps and go home or they will be attacked, after US drone attacks in the area.
Al Qaeda operatives gave out to people in the district of Al Sheher where US drone attacks killed seven operatives last week, leaflets warning the troops from staying in their camps or positions any more or they will be killed because their "government is agent and traitor".
Al Qaeda also in their leaflets criticized the clerics of Hudhrmout and Yemen in general for being silent after the attacks of the US drones.
Politically, the President Hadi referred to Parliament this week a draft of the controversial law of transitional justice and national reconciliation for debates and vote.
However, the socilist minister of legal affairs Dr Mohammed Al Mekhlafi criticized Preaidnet for the period of transitional justice, which is the most controversial point for the conflicting parties who form the transitional government of the national unity.
" I can not believe that President Hadi referred the draft to the parliament," said minister of legal affairs Dr Al Mekhalfi.
"The draft ignored the conflicts from 1994," said Al Mekhlafi referring to the civil war of 1994 when secessionists of the socialist party were defeated.
President Hadi wants the period of transitional justice to include only 2011, which is the year of uprising and crisis. The current draft can be passed with this period (2011) because the final decision will be to President Hadi according to the transitional agreement if the parliament failed to approve the draft.
It seems that every one of the conflicting parties want to make the law for their favor.
"The socialist minister focuses on the 1994 conflicts because the victims were from his party," said Hafez Al Bukari, political activist.
Many people would say why only from 1994 conflicts, why not from 1986 conflicts, and why not from 1979. All those were big conflicts in which hundreds and thousands of Yemenis fell victims.
"President Hadi does not want the transitional period to include the 1994 conflicts because this period will include Saleh's partners, and Hadi was one of Saleh's partners," said Al Bukari.