Bani Hushaish tribesmen block Sana’a-Mareb Road
The tribesmen are prohibiting passengers from Mareb and Nihm from entering or leaving the capital Sana’a.
The road connects the capital Sana’a to Mareb, Al-Jawf, Shabwa, Hadramout, Al-Mahra, and remote areas of Sana’a.
Local sources told the Yemen Times that the armed men are affiliated with the businessman Yahya Hamoud Al-Agr, a merchant from Shibam Al-Gharas in Bani Hushaish district.
“The armed men keep citizens coming from Mareb, Hadramout, Al-Jawf, and Al-Mahra from entering Sana’a,” said Mohamed Ahmed, a local citizen from the roadblock area.
The long distance transportation busses were forced to stop for a while, then returned to their stations. Some passengers waited for two hours hoping that tribesmen would open the road, but they were forced to go back home.
Yahya Al-Agr, the businessman who ordered the establishment of the road block, said in a conversation with the Yemen Times that he and his fellow Bani Hushaish tribesmen blocked the road in reaction to a one year-old dispute between him and other tribal leaders in Mareb.
He explained that one year ago, armed men from Mareb had plundered six trucks belonging to him. The trucks were loaded with food stuffs and were on the way from his hometown in Bani Hushaish to his stores in Sayoun, Hadramout.
He claimed that his trucks are still being held by influential tribal leaders in Mareb. He added that he lost around YR 40 million ($ 186,000).
He went on saying that before blocking the road, he reported his complaint to the police authority. Three months ago, the policemen arrested the criminals, but the security chief of Sana’a, Brigadier General Mohamed Saleh Tareeq, and the security chief of Mareb, Mohamed Al-Ghadra’a, released them after just two days.
Abdulkarim Al-Mekhlafi, Tareeq’s secretary, told the Yemen Times that the security authority in Sana’a has not yet taken any action to open the road, fearing possible loss of life that could result from clashes with the armed tribesmen.
For his part, Tareeq denied in a conversation with the Yemen Times that he released the detained criminals.
“This is untrue and I challenge anyone to prove that,” said Al-Tareeq.
He added that road blocks have been on the rise since the beginning of 2011, due to the political conflict among various parties.
When contacted by The Yemen Times, Al-Gadara declined to comment on the issue.