Freitag, 5. August 2011

Yemeni tribes and the revolution

This is a fascinating article about recent developments in the involvement of Yemeni tribes in the ongoing upheavals in Yemen:

Yemeni Tribes Unify under Western Darkness, August 4, 2011, The Palestinian Chronicle
by James Gundun

As information flows from Yemen's revolution, it quickly deposits into the black-hole of U.S. and European media. Sometimes this information completes the transit intact, but reports are more often jumbled and spliced before reaching the Western public. Even then, an estimated 3-9% of Americans are paying "serious" attention to the incomplete picture of Yemen’s revolution.

Last weekend naturally elapsed through this machine when many news sources, Western and non-Western, picked up the brutal clashes between Yemeni security forces and anti-government tribesmen. Most bandwidth has been diverted south to the ongoing battle in Zinjibar and Aden, where government forces and anti-government tribes are caught in a proxy battle against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and government-funded "jihadists." While international media generally positions Yemen’s tribes on the government’s side, they are largely fighting both Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime and AQAP after the government manufactured a takeover of Zinjibar in May.

As the U.S.-trained Republican Guard and Central Security Organization concentrate their remaining forces in Sana'a and Taiz, local units were ordered to retreat and reinforcements were withheld until mid-July.

The commander of Yemen’s 25th Mechanized Brigade tried to explained his situation in a recent interview with the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat. For reasons still unclear to him, Brigadier General Mohammed al-Sawmali found himself outgunned and "besieged" by AQAP militants at a local stadium. al-Sawmali admitted upfront, "The security services pulled out of Abyan leaving their weapons behind, and Al Qaeda seized these weapons, and is now using them against us. This is something that no one can deny."

"However, if you ask me about the motives behind this, I can only say to you 'God knows.'"

Read more about this and the recently established Yemen Tribal Coalition in the full article.

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