Political Analysis

List provokes strong response: monthly Saudi stipends for key Yemeni figures

National Yemen

The three friends of three decades

BY NY Staff

In response a recently-published list of names of around 2,700 Yemeni sheikhs , military leaders and political figures who receive large monthly sums of money from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense, members of parliament called for a serious investigation into the matter. During Saturday’s parliament session, MPs wondered aloud how influential Yemeni political figures and sheikhs could possibly justify receiving large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia.
The list of names was accompanied by the sums of money the individuals and political parties reportedly receive on a monthly basis, and was published by Al-Sharie’a newspaper. The published report stated that all together, such payments total SR 56 million per month.
The list is topped by the name of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who reportedly received SR 40 million per month. SR 3 million has reportedly found its way to both Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ahmar and Major General Ali Mohsen on a monthly basis. In addition, the report claimed that Mohsen received an additional yearly payment of SR 10 million for leading forces against Yemeni Shi’ites.
According to the report, Hussien Al-Ahmar has SR 200,000 SR monthly and an additional five million Saudi riyals per year.
Reported payments aren’t limited to individual figures, but are also extend to political parties such as Al-Islah, which was reported to have received three million riyals on a monthly basis. In response, Islah representatives contested the report’s veracity, and added that party members were astonished to see that something so baseless had been published.
Meanwhile, Abdulrahman Al-Jafri, president of the Ray League political party, has reportedly been provided with SR 160,000 a month.
The list included former presidents such as Ali Nasser Mohammed, who has reportedly been paid SR 120,000 per month; according to the list, Haidar Al-Attas, Haitham Qassim Taher and Mohmmed Ali have each reportedly been paid SR 10,000 per month.
The names and sums on the list have elicited a great deal of response. Many Yemenis were shocked to see particular individuals on the list, such as the brother and son of late president Ibrahim Al-Hamdi.
The published list also included the names of a number of journalists, diplomats, officials from various parts of Yemen, thereby indicating a widescale dependency on foreign money on the part of a large portion of Yemen’s political leaders and those that surround them.
Meanwhile, the press office belonging to former president Saleh has refuted the published report, which lists him at the top of the list in terms of the amount of money received from Saudi Arabia on a monthly basis. A statement released by Saleh’s office reads “Neither he, his father nor his grandfather received any payments from the Saudi government, which indicates that Sheikh Al-Ahmar and his sons are the ones taking money from KSA.”
A further denial came from representatives of the family of late president Ibrahim Al-Hamdi. A recently-issued statement said that no members of the Al-Hamdi family had received any amount of money from any party. Abdul-Rahman Al-Hamdi said that what had been published amounted to lies and fabrications that “serve only a few people and which cannot mar the reputable history of the Al-Hamdi name.”