Monday, 11 July 2011

Yemen: Clashes continue in Ta'izz

In last month's issue of Yemen Focus we described the violence and chaotic conditions in Ta'izz – the killing of demonstrators and armed clashes between military units (some reports speak of organised groups of retired soldiers or defectors) and elements from the Republican Guard. At one stage, tribal militias were summoned by people in the city to provide protection to some neighbourhoods, presumably where there were tribal members.

Tribalism is not a major factor in Ta'izz and the intervention may have been quite limited. Reports suggest that the Mikhlaf tribe is the most involved. Its leader has been active in mediation efforts and has been protecting the young protesters, who have returned in small numbers to the main square.

There have been attempts at mediation by members of the well-known business family of Hayel bin Saeed and the local governor as well as the General People's Congress and Joint Meeting Parties. However, clashes have continued, albeit on a reduced scale and were still taking place in early July despite the announcement on 4th July of a new agreement to end the violence. Residents speak of daily chaos and the increasing difficulty of getting basis commodities. One source told Yemen Focus that he had to wait seven days in a queue for petrol.

There are reports of problems in Ibb and other towns in the Central District, but not on the scale of Ta'izz. Hodaida, which has seen its share of problems, has been quieter.

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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