Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Truce in north of Yemen did not hold
Less than a day after UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar confirmed at a press conference in Sana’a, the capital, that a truce between the Houthis and the Salafis had eventually been brokered, the warring parties returned to their guns, bent on destroying each other.
The Houthis (Shiite tribal faction led by Abdel Malek al-Houthi) resumed its shelling of Dammaj Salafi Islamic Centre on Monday evening confirmed Surour al-Wadii, a spokesman for the Salafis.“There were massive Houthi attacks throughout the night against Dar al-Hadith academy and student dormitories …The death toll have risen to at least 100.”
The Salafis have accused the Houthis of targeting its foreign students in Dammaj in a bid to force the Sunni sect out of the region as to remain the only religious reference in the area. The Houthis have justified their aggression on Dammaj by accusing the Salafis of recruiting and training Jihadists in view of a regional takeover. The Salafis, by the way, are aidee by Saudi-Arabia.
The sectarian nature of the conflict has had officials back in Sana’a sitting nervously on their seats as they realised that such religious in-fighting could be the undoing of the National Dialogue Conference. Already burdened by al-Harak (Southern Secessionist Movement) ongoing calls for secession, Yemen coalition government does not want to be in the situation where further instability will unravel its past months’ efforts and draw factions to renege on previous negotiations. To make things worse, the Yemen Popst reports that the unrest has spread also to the northern district Hasaba, of the capital Sana´a. Residents confirmed on Tuesday that armed clashes took place across the district, between tribesmen linked to the powerful al-Ahmar family and others. Hasaba falls under the direct command of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, prominent tribal leader and high ranking leader of al-Islah party. It has has witnessed much violence and unrest over the past few weeks.
In remarks aired by state TV, President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi denounced "sectarian fighting that does not serve the security or stability of the nation."