SANA’A, May, 29 — The international community raised its call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave power after the clashes in one of the capital biggest districts, Al-Hasaba, threatening the lives of thousands of residents. The call was also as a result of the political crises and the failure of a Gulf Cooperation Council brokered power transfer deal.
Fighting between the Al-Ahmer family, leaders of the Hashid tribal confederation and the state reach their peak last Wednesday, 25 May, as mortar and artillery shells began splashing down across the district.
Fight has since stopped in the capital due to a tentative ceasfire between the Hashid confederation and the government.
A third meditation committee, headed by Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Abu Horia, succeeded in negotiating a ceasefire between the two sides, temporarily stopping the conflict and ceding public buildings taken back tribesmen back to the government. The government then agreed to remove its forces from the area.
According to Saudi Journalist Suliman al-Hattan, Saudi Arabia changed their position and is now calling for Saleh to relinquish power immediately. Following three failed mediation attempts for Saleh to leave power through a GCC brokered deal, the Kingdom and other Gulf countries are stepping back from the negotiating table. According to Al-Halttan, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdal Aziz told Saleh that the Kingdom would be recommending that the UN Security Council address Yemen’s ongoing crises.
Locals from Al-Hasaba have fled the area. Some are seeking refuse in their ancestral villages in rural areas while other have moved in with relatives in other areas of Sana’a.
A Youth volunteer group calling themselves Yemeni Youth for Humanitarian Relief (YYHR) visited Al-Hasaba area found signs of destruction and suffering. As Al-Hasaba is one of the most crowded residential areas and the fighting has led to a dire humanitarian situation. The volunteers estimate that more than 500 families have been displaced from the area.
The group aims to hold fundraising events to supply those families with basic needs like food and water.
Majid Al-Shuoaibi, a pro-democracy protester, told the Yemen Times that the international community’s position regarding Yemen is underdeveloped and uninformed. “They care more about Syria and found solutions for them although Syria’s revolution started after Yemen’s” said al-Shouaibi.
Hisham Al-Ziadi, a young protester from the 15 January movement in Change Square agreed that the international position toward Yemen is weak, “Especially if we compare their [the international community] efforts with Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt. Until now the international community has done is condemn violence, using empty rhetoric instead of action.”
Youth across Yemen expressed a special appreciate for France, motivating other European countries to recognize the legitimacy of protest movements in the Arab World.
“France was the first country in the EU that motivates the others to discuss the Yemeni case” he added.
Many youth protesters in Yemen believe that the international community still fears that if Saleh leaves power, Al-Qeada will take over Yemen and then bleed over into neighboring countries.
“They are scared to come after Saleh,” said Al-Ziadi.”They also fear that Saleh, if they insist on his ouster, would lead the country to a civil war”