Written By: Almigdad Mojalli
Article Date: Jun 4, 2012 - 5:37:41 PM
After signing the GCC initiative which stipulates that gunmen and militant barracks should evacuate the streets ; and after the continuous statements of the Military Committee reporting cleaning the streets of Sana’a from gunmen as a whole, people believed that Sana’a would become safe.
Nevertheless, gunmen are still here and especially concentrated in the north-western areas of Sana’a keeping killing many Yemeni citizens in the streets with absolute silence from the government.
Instead of withdrawing from streets implementing the GCC initiative and Security Council Resolution No. 2014, gunmen only moved from streets to the neighboring buildings and houses. Unfortunately, the Military Security Committee lied to the Yemeni population when they continued stating on TV screens that all parties withdrew their gunmen.
“Yemeni people believed that the situation would be secure again, when they watched the Security Committee cleaning the streets from barracks and mud cases, and reporting that all streets were clean from gunmen, but a few days later, we got stunned when we heard that the gunmen had just moved from streets to neighboring buildings and houses,” said Mohammed Hasan.
When the clashes between the sons of Sheikh Al-Ahmer and the governmental forces broke out in May 2011, many people left their homes for safer places. Then, the gunmen occupied their houses and used them as forts when fighting the governmental forces. Consequently, many houses and buildings were burglarized, burned and completely destroyed.
One of the trading buildings’ owner, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that the gunmen in Al-Hasabah occupied his building once the inhabitants had left their apartments, and used it as forts or barracks, “when I went to sheikh Hashim Al- Ahmer complaining about his gunmen and asking him to withdraw them from my building, he answered that the house of Sheikh Abdullah himself had been attacked and that I had to be patient as we were in the middle of a revolution,” he said, adding ,“I was used to receive about YR one million a month, and now my family and I, are renting an apartment.”
Jamal Mohammed, 28, stated that his family left their house to Al-Madinah Al-Sakania Sa’awan during the clashes, and when they returned to their house, they found it occupied by the gunmen of Sheikh Al-Ahmer’s sons, who refused to leave the house. “ Now, they are occupying our house, and we cannot get it back,” he said.
Many other families still cannot return to their homes either because they are destroyed or occupied by gunmen. Moreover, the existence of gunmen either in the streets or inside buildings, suggests fear, instability and insecurity.
Tariq Mohammed, 35, ex-inhabitant of Al-Hasabah stated that he cannot bring his family back to Al-Hasabah as he doesn’t feel comfortable having his children around when he knows the existence of armed gunmen evolving in the neighborhood.
When people went out to the streets demanding to overthrow the regime, one of their demands was to abolish the power of tribal leaders who are said to be one of the most corrupt people in the country. However, the revolution increased their power and they increased their crimes against the people.
A couple of weeks ago, a sheikh wanted to enter the Military Hospital in Sana’a with his arms. The Military soldiers stopped him from entering the building, he then left and came back with his gunmen who started shooting the Hospital’s gate randomly, killing a motorcyclist and injuring four pedestrians.
Najib Mahdi, 22, stated that he was at the gate of the hospital renting a motorcycle to head to the Change Square, when a car full of gunmen stopped and started shooting randomly before running away.
Moreover, on May 30th, a boy was killed in the north of Sana’a when some gunmen from the Nihm tribe and Al-Ahmer’s sons started shooting each other over a land. Saif Khalid Hatem, 21, who was exiting his house, found himself in the middle of the battle and got shot just in front of the building.” Said Al-Ezz Izzaddeen.
Though people were very optimistic thinking that security would come back, people’s trust in the National Consensus Government and security bodies recently started declining dramatically.
• Offensive against militants drives US drone campaign, tribes claim
• Family to hand over militants should drone campaign cease
• Government says Al Qaeda deputy amir dead, experts skeptical