Friday, April 9, 2010

New wave of protests in the south of Yemen

Protest demonstration in southern Yemeni governorate. The protesters carry the flag of the former republic of South Yemen. (Photo Reuters).

Protests have increased in the south, including for the first time in Lawdar, in the governorate of Abyan. after Tariq Al-Fadhly, a former jihadist and a member of the Southern Movement, ended his truce with the government. Al-Fadhly, who signed a truce with the government last month, announced last Friday 2 April  that he had cancelled the truce because Special Forces had tried to arrest him at his home a day earlier, but were stopped by his supporters. 

According to local sources in Abyan, confrontations took place on Saturday between the security forces and jihadists, who live in camps nearby Zunjubar,  Abyan. The confrontations resulted in several casualties, with the most serious taken to hospital.
A security official in the Abyan governorate confirmed to the media that the confrontations did take place.
He accused elements of Al-Qaeda in Yemen and members of the  Southern Movement of attacking guards at a security point at the entrance of Zunjubar.
The sources mentioned that Baihan and Habban districts in Shabwa governorate also witnessed serious protests in which protesters shouted that their demands should be met. They also asked the state to recall in mind the objectives of the unified Yemen. In Al-Dhale’, since February 27 a curfew has been imposed, cell phone coverage has been disconnected, and the roads have been closed. The security forces have said that they are looking for suspects and will make arrest. But the curfew hasn’t stopped supporters of the Southern Movement from protesting.During a curfew, protesters confronted security forces, 69 were injured in the clashes, and 56 were citizens, among them a woman and 13 soldiers, according to the sources.The arrested are estimated at more than 150.

Protests took also place in the Lahj governorate. One protester from the Southern Movement was killed in the clashes and another four were injured last Thursday after clashes between armed members from the Southern Movement and the security forces in Al-Habelain, Lahj. Sources at the Habelain district mentioned that the protesters called for a full strike each Monday in the southern governorates.
Dozens of merchants in Al-Hota, also in Lahj, held a peaceful protest in front of the Local Authority Headquarters protesting for their rights. The local authority had promised to compensate them. for dmages to their shops which had been plundered during protests in the past days.They expressed their anger as the authorities seemed to be going back on their promises. .
Observers and political analysts expressed their concern about the possibility that the Southern Movement may be intensified to a degree similar to Houthi insurgency in the north of Yemen. The executive committee at the Rabitat Ibna Al-Yemen (RAY) party, called on the ruling party to hold a national serious dialogue in which all parties are order to work out a political and finanial plan to redress the political anomalies of the country an the deteriorating state of the currency.

No comments: