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Houthi-Tribal Clashes Continue for Fourth Month

By Abdullah Alsalimi

Confrontations continue between armed Houthi supporters and tribal elements loyal to Sheikh Uthman mujalli, a member of parliament, in the Rahban area several kilometers away from Sa’ada city.

The hostilities have been ongoing for around four months.

Much mediation by tribal leaders and officials failed to reach to any settlement of the conflict which resulted in the death and injury of many people.

The last tribal mediation were led by members  parliament Sheikh Fayiz al-Awjari and Saleh al-Wajman, who took part in earlier mediations between Houthis and the authority to end the fourth round of the war.

While Shiekh al-Awjari refused to give any statement on the mediation and its resolution to National Yemen, he confirmed that it is still continuing and accused media of causing strife and discord.

Huthi Accuses Authority

In his speech to NY, Mohammed Abdulsalam, spokesman of the huthi press office denied that the group is aware of the last mediation headed by al-Awjari and al-Wajman, but at the same time he said that it is possible that there might be some mediations carried now, yet he anticipated the results would resemble previous, unsatisfying ones.

Abdulsalam also held the authorities responsible for what he called “The siege imposed on the Houthi partisans in Rehban”.

He claimed that in this time, attacks on their supporters were ceaseless, and he confirmed that authority is waging the war on them whether by mortar shells from the surrounding military sites targeting the Houthis or by providing anti-Houthi local tribes with weapons and gear.

Abdulsalam discussed the possibility of ending the confrontations between the parties.

He said that the way to reach to a final compromise to solve the conflict is

by lifting the siege on Rahban’s people.

He admitted that there are losses of lives among their supporters in Rahban, yet he denied having any figures.  Despite the Houthi office’s unwillingness to present any numbers, as they had done in recent years, sources close to Uthman Mujalli reported the death of ten to fifteen armed Houthis from Al Abdeen and Gharaz tribes for the past three months since the outbreak of fighting – a figure which does not include those injured.

A source close to sheikh al-Awjari mentioned that the authorities, through various military leaders, are providing sheikh Mujalli and his tribe with all kinds of weapons to confront the Houthis, who also remain well-armed.

These confrontations between Houthis and Mujalli tribes seem to be taking place as if settling accounts.

Mujalli stood with authority especially after the second war, and the current events cannot be separated from the context of tribal revenge more specifically.