Fighting again breaks out in Arhab
The fighting renewed three days ago when a surprise shelling from area Republican Guard military camps hit the same opposition tribesmen who have battled with military forces since late May 2011, in parallel with the popular revolution against Saleh’s rule.
Over 150 persons - including women, children and armed tribesmen - were killed, and dozens were left injured between May 2011 and February 2012, according to the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, also known as HOOD.
Displaced people from Arhab who returned home between December 2011 and early March may again be forced to flee from the area following the renewal of fighting, local citizen Abdullah Al-Shiraee told the Yemen Times.
In response to the renewal of violence, schools in Arhab suspended studies. “The shelling has panicked the locals, particularly the children,” said Al-Shiraee.
Clashes significantly diminished following Saleh's signing of the GCC power transfer deal on November 23 of last year. However, intermittent confrontations have continued from November until the present month.
The same warplanes which continuously hovered over Arhab between May and November have returned.
“The warplanes have been above our heads day and night for two days,” said Al-Shiraee.
Republican Guard forces which have engaged in armed conflict with local opposition tribesmen continue to be commanded by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son, Ahmed Ali Saleh.
The GCC initiative stipulates the restructuring of Yemen’s army according to professional and national standards. However, necessary actions have yet to be taken more than a month into Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi's presidency.
Mohamed Al-Hazmi, an Islah Party MP, said in an interview with the BBC Arabic television channel that Saleh desires the exercise of his influence over the new president, who was his deputy until last February.
“He [Saleh] wants to play the role of the president's boss, and this hampers the transition deal's effectiveness,” Al-Hazmi said.
The JMP opposition coalition this week demanded that the army be restructured and under Hadi's full control. Otherwise, stated JMP representatives, they will not participate in the upcoming national dialogue.