Report on the outcome of the tribal gathering in response to the killing of Sheik Harish demands a reckoning and addresses long standing issues of contention including security checkpoints and the distribution of oil jobs and revenue.
Huge crowds of Hadrami head of tribes, tribes, representative of
political Hadrami groups, Hadrami social figures, and others have
gathered on 10/12/2013 at “Wadi Nahib” in “Gail Ben Yamin” directorate
in Hadramout governorate to discuss actions to be taken after the
assassination of Sheikh Sa’ad Ben Habreesh of Al Homoom tribe. The
crowd agreed on the following:
1- The killing of Sheikh Sa’ad Bin Ahmed Bin Habreeh Al Homoomi is
considered a crime within several crimes committed by the Yemeni
regime in the governorate of Hadramout, demanding the local
authorities to hand over the killers of the Sheikh Al Homoomi and
those who supported them to get their fair punishment.
2- The cancellation of all military points from all over the
governorate of Hadramout in the coast and in the valley; and handover
all security issues of the governorate, i.e. Hadramout, to the people
3- Handover the Oil Companies Protection Forces in the governorate of
Hadramout to the Hadrami people.
4- The gathering have called for an endless escalation and popular
movement starting from 20/12/2013, if the regime doesn’t respond to
the above requests, until a full control of the governorate of
Hadramout by Hadrami people.
5- The funeral of the martyr Sa’ad Bin Habreeh is on the coming Friday
after the Aser prayer at directorate of “Gail Ben Yamin”.
Many ways to go on this depending on where you start from:
1- Necessity of training security forces, establishing command and control, localization
2- Importance of establishing accountability and conflict resolution mechanisms (Whoops, everybody still has immunity.)
3- Demonstrates the difficulty of carrying out ground CT ops in Yemen
4- Demonstrates Defense Ministry’s continuing knee jerk propensity toward calling all opposition, especially dead opposition, “AQAP”. (See YT below.) The Defense Ministry retracted the accusation, not because it was untrue and it was untrue, but because the errant label would have further inflamed the tribesmen; however the entire western media and half of US intel would have bought it hook, link and sinker. And to be fair, it is the US’s formal policy to classify all Yemeni men 16 or older killed in drone strikes as “suspected AQ” and count it as a win.
5- Importance of tribal ties and identity when the state (and its basic services) are absent
6- In the absence of a trusted, or even a rudimentary, judicial system, the importance of tribal negotiations and their ability to defuse volatile situations
7- The nearness of Yemeni tribal norms to democratic norms of self rule, consensus as demonstrated by the meeting itself
8- In the absence of democracy, the ability of the citizen to pressure the state to remedy injustices through the tribe
9- Continuing sense of deep injustice over natural resources (stemming from vast corruption) and a sense of arbitrary punitive state interventions
10- Jobs, everybody needs jobs
11- This is how Yemeni movements are made, a spark in the tinder of burning resentment
Background: Yemen Times: INSTABILITY IN HADRAMOUT CONTINUES UNABATED
SANA’A, Dec. 4—New reports of armed clashes between state forces and alleged Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) emerged Wednesday morning in the Ghail Bawzeer district in Hadramout, according to officials. There were no reported deaths or injuries.
There are security personnel stationed all over the governorate, the Interior Ministry previously told the Yemen Times.
In Ghail Bawzeer, residents have been warned not to go out at night, said Mohammed Bawzeer, the editor-in-chief of the local Shibam Public Newspaper.
“Residents are dissatisfied with the presence of armed men and security forces. There is panic because of repetitive clashes and shootings,” he said.
“The entirety of Hadramout is tense,” said Colonel Hussein Hashim, the security manager of Sayoun in Hadramout.
A security analyst, Mohammed Al-Khalid, said efforts toward an ongoing security campaign in Hadramout will not be successful because it’s not comprehensive. He says those targeted by it—mostly AQAP affiliates—will continue to jump from one area to the next.
Elsewhere in the governorate, in the aftermath of a security campaign in Al-Shehr city that began two weeks ago, dozens of houses were destroyed. The city remains under a 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew.
Markets close at 7:00 p.m., Mohammed Al-Qahoom, a local resident said. Everyone is doing their shopping in the morning, he added.
On Monday in Sayoun, another believed AQAP stronghold in Hadramout (ed- Sayoun as AQAP stronghold hotly disputed by some), Sheikh Sad Bin Harish, the head of Hadramout’s tribal federation in Sayoun, was killed by state forces at a checkpoint right outside the city.
According to local officials, Harish, who was travelling with bodyguards refused to hand over weapons his convoy was carrying at the checkpoint. Officials say Harish’s men fired first and a gun battle ensued. Seven, including Harish, were killed in the clashes and four injured, according to Hashim.
The Defense Ministry’s website published a statement immediately following the incident, saying that Habrish was a member of Al-Qaeda. Later, the ministry retracted the statement and apologized to tribes in Hadramout.
But as many predicted it seems Habrish’s fellow tribesmen may seek revenge against the state for his death.
Hashim said the situation in the city remains tense and that security forces are expecting armed men in the area to mobilize.
Sabri Masoud, the head of Haq Organization for Human Rights in Seyon, said security forces have withdrawn from four security checkpoints to avoid clashes. Hashim did not confirm this. But, Masoud says tribesmen are coming from districts outside of Sayoun to avenge the sheikh’s death.
“They are coming to Seyon to agree on how to respond to Habrish’s murder,” he said.
More here SadaAden and here AdenLife (Ar). Some southerners are characterizing the statement as pro-secessionist, however some Hadramoutis want their own state as in country. The federal option still seems viable in theory but the transitional central government has not engendered broad trust despite some intermittent gestures of reconciliation and is still viewed as an occupation. Nothing can be achieved without financial transparency and elite accountability, otherwise its just a better dressed mafia that’s stealing the money.