Youth Fear Influence of al-Ahmar Family

By Saddam Alashmory

Minister of culture Sam bin Yahya Al-ahmar, nephew of the late sheikh Abdullah Al-Ahmar, declared his resignation in protest of the crackdown on the protestors demanding the fall of the regime and joining the protestors in change square in Sana’a.

This resignation comes after a number of the al-Ahmar sons, including Hussein, Hashid al-Ahamer as well their relative Shaikhs and cuisines declared their resignations and joined the opposition.

Some consider this dangerous to president Saleh’s regime. Analysts believe that their joining of the opposition will enhance the protests in terms of tribal support marks the nigh end to the current regime.

It is known that when president Saleh came to power Sana’a in 1978, it was through the heavy support of the tribes.

Protests take a different turn in Yemen

Many protestors expressed their resentment of having the al-Ahmar sons join the sit-ins, as they think that their demonstrations are going to be dominated by the sheikhs, the thing which worries protestors the most.

According to Sharaf al-Riyashi, a protestor, “exchanging an al-Ahmar with another al-Ahmar is unacceptable, and having the al-Ahmar tribes in the protest will certainly change its track, control it, and employ it for a specific agenda.”

The changing nature of the sit-ins as Islah imposes control

Arguments started to affect the opposing JMP bloc leadership in the “change square” opposite Sana’a University.

Some of those present were heard discussion arguments among themselves on which party will lead the protests, and that came after witnessing Tawakul Karman, an Islah activist, making a statement on behalf of the young protestors which caused many young people leave the protest and return back to their homes.

Eye-witnesses reported the continuation of withdrawal by number of the protestors after having a fight among them and some Islah party extremists joining the sit ins.

These independent young protestors revealed that their withdrawal comes after having arguments with the Islah party, who imposed their control in the square through forming organizing committees and not allowing non-part members to participate or to chair the events.

A young protestor Mohammed al-Raimi said, “we were victims of a big conspiracy in which it was claimed that these sit-ins had nothing to do with partisanship.

“Our slogan was ‘no to Partisanship, our revolution is a youth revolution,’ but we found out that the Islah party and its leadership wants to exploit us as political leverage to drag the country into a dark path and an uncertain future.”

He pointed out that most of the participants in the sit-ins are simple independent youth, while the party presence and the Islah presence is “working through the protests in order to agitate us toward on violence, friction, and collision with anyone who disagrees with their opinion, and this contrasts with the slogan of peaceful peaceful protests.:

A huge pro-government protest has been set up in Amran’s streets by Hashid tribesmen supporting the regime, who expressed their rejection of Hameed al-Ahmar.

In a statement by the hashid tribe’s sheikhs, they confirmed their support for the national dialogue the president proposed earlier.

While Hashid tribe sheikhs condemned the statement coming from Sheikh Hussein who spoke on behalf of the whole tribe, they mentioned that his statement represents him only and his area.

In addition, their statement called for presenting sacrifices for the sake of the nation.

The Hashid tribe’s support could tip the scale in favor of the president, especially since another major tribe, Bakil is also preparing a huge rally in favor of the national dialogue, which might further bolster president Saleh.

Some of the Hashid tribal leaders are describing Hussein Al-Ahmar as childish.

Sheikh al-Mashriqi said, “it is more worthy of sheikh Hussein to get back and consult with us instead of speaking on behalf of all the two major tribes in Yemen, which the Yemeni president can keep on in his side, as forcing him to step down will be a tough task.”