Skip to main content

Yemen president warns of civil war



Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi has vowed to restore state authority and warned of a "civil war" in the Sunni-majority country as Shia rebels were seen in near-total control of the capital, Sanaa.

"Sanaa is facing a conspiracy that will lead towards civil war," Hadi said in a speech at the presidential palace on Tuesday, two days after the rebels took control of all other key state institutions in the capital, overshadowing a UN-brokered peace deal.

"Many powers came together, either those who lost their interests in Yemen or those pushed by their personal grievances to take their revenge on their country rather than on individual, or the opportunistic who take advantage of any disaster to attack the country," said Hadi.

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Sanaa, said that the president's comments had created a lot of confusion in the country.

"They don't know what he means. Is the conspiracy the fact that he was made to sign a deal that he didn't like to sign? Or conspiracy whether he now has second thoughts about the Houthi takeover and he sees it in it's real nature? He did not mention who is behind this conspiracy," said our correspondent.

Hundreds of rebel fighters manned checkpoints on the airport road and other major throughfares in the capital on Tuesday, while heavily armed patrols cruised the streets in four-wheel-drive vehicles, the AFP news agency reported.

'Sanaa will not fall'

Rebels were posted outside the public offices they entered on Sunday, which include the main government building, parliament, army headquarters and the central bank, alongside small detachments of military police.

 But Hadi insisted that "Sanaa will not fall."

UN envoy Jamal Benomar, who brokered Sunday's agreement aimed at ending deadly fighting between the rebels and Sunni Islamists, said the rebels' taking of key institutions virtually without resistance seemed to signify the "collapse" of the security forces in Sanaa.

As Benomar spoke, the peace accord seemed to be holding after a week of clashes between Shia rebels and Sunni fighters that the government said killed at least 200 people.

The Houthi rebels, who last year rebranded themselves as Ansarullah (Supporters of God), waged a decade-long insurgency in the mountainous north before launching a bid for power in Sanaa last month.

Also on Tuesday, Reuters news agency citing witnesses and a local official, reported that a drone similar to that used by the US to track down and attack suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penisula, crashed in the southern part of the country on Tuesday.

Witnesses said the aircraft crashed after it hit a mountain near the city of Beihan in the southern Yemeni Shabwa province.

A local official confirmed the aircraft crashed after it struck Shoab Mountain near Beihan and said that Yemeni troops and members of a local militia allied with the government quickly surrounded the area of the crash to keep onlookers away.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary
Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.

Analysis


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge


In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.

Analysis


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…