Written By: Elena White
Article Date: Jul 4, 2012 - 8:04:33 PM
As weeks pass by in Aden more residents came to complain to the press that they are living in fear of more violence and death as al-Harak – Southern Secessionist Movement - and the armed forces continue to oppose each other in several districts of the seaport city.
Al Mansoura as once peaceful residential area has been turned into a stronghold of al-Harak, with residents having had to flee the area for fear of snipers and gangs. With roadblocks and armed militias roaming the streets of al-Mansoura the armed forces resorted to position snipers on nearby building to prevent al-Harak most hardliner militants from spreading further in the city.
An officer from the security forces said under cover of anonymity to the Yemen Observer that for now the state was trying to contain the problem. “We don’t want to have another secessionist war on our hands. By containing the situation to one area we’re hoping politicians will have time to negotiate some kind of a truce or agreement. Yemen does not need a civil war.
” Reports however coming from within al-Mansoura somewhat differ from that of the security forces with residents having told Observers 24 that the army “adopted a shoot-on-sight policy”, adding that dozens of families had fled the area by fear of the army rather than al-Harak.
The Yemen Observer was not able to independently to verify such allegations. It is very difficult at present to get a clear picture of what is happening in Aden as both al-Harak and government officials have polarized reports, with secessionists claiming the army aided by the security forces is conducting a bloody crackdown against its militants while the state maintains it is only trying to maintain order in its provinces.
Ahmed Al-Yazidi, a doctor and activist belonging to the South Yemen Movement told Observer 24 this week that “Army units and snipers are still stationed in Mansoura, around Martyrs’ Square.
The neighborhood is like a ghost town; all the shops are closed. Security forces ransacked many of them, and they also vandalized a display dedicated to martyrs from the South. Sometimes they fire at cars driving down nearby streets. Even ambulances are shot at.
A few days ago, they burst into the Doctors Without Borders’ operating theatre and tried to drag a patient away.” None of al-Yazidi’s allegations could be verified. If calm has returned to most of Yemen after 2011 violence and bloodshed, it seems that Aden is literally erupting.
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