Mediation fails in bid for commander’s release
SANA’A, July 8 — Tension persists between Khawlan and Sanhan district tribes to the east of the Sana’a after the abduction of Murad Al-Awabali, a commander in the Republican Guard from the Sanhan district.
Abdulkareem Naji, a Khawlan local, said sheikh Mohammed Bin Naji Al-Ghadir, a leading figure in Khawlan, is mediating the kidnapped commander’s release, promising the kidnappers will be reinstated as soldiers and their salaries paid.
Naji said the offer was declined, and the kidnappers demanded Al-Ghadir recruit them to military units other than the Republican Guard, which they claim to be in.
The kidnapping has sparked disputes between Khawlan and Sanhan tribes, and tribesmen from Sanhan attacked students from Khawlan during secondary school examinations in Bait Al-Shatbi Village, a Sanhan village.
Mohammed Darwish, an eyewitness in Khawlan, said confrontations between the two districts broke out, resulting in one Khawlan injury: Arafat Mohammed Al-Kadi was hospitalized after sustaining a bullet in his leg.
Darwish said clashes lasted for more than half an hour.
Currently, Sanhan tribesmen have checkpoints on Khawlan-Sana’a road, preventing anyone from Khawlan’s 30 villages to enter Sana’a, 30 km away, in a bid to lobby the abductors to release Al-Awabali.
The 10-village Sanhan, which lies to the east, is 10 km from Sana’a.
A group of armed tribesmen from Khawlan abducted the Republican Guard’s 62nd Brigade commander last week in Juhana.
The abductors claimed to be former Republican Guard soldiers, but they sided with the revolution, and their salaries were not provided.
They said they won’t release Al-Awabali until salaries are paid.