By: Fares Al-Hemiary
Subversive groups have escalated operations targeting economic and service projects in an open war against Yemenis’ interests. Acts of sabotage have increased over past weeks and days and have targeted oil and gas projects and electricity and internet lines, in addition to other economic and service projects. They took place at the same time final preparations were being made for the National Dialogue Conference, which Yemenis have been holding great hopes for. New high records have been reported for acts of sabotage since Yemeni parties signed the GCC power transfer deal last year.
Rajeh Bady, media advisor for Prime Minister Basindowa, said that with the successful completion of preparations for launching the dialogue, some have felt afraid of its possible success and have sought a deterioration of the country’s general situation. “
What is happening in Yemen right now is a conflict between two groups of people,” said Bady. “The first wants to lead Yemen to a peaceful place, while the other wants to keep dragging Yemen behind.”
Bady stated that the government had undertaken all possible peaceful measures to make saboteurs stop their attacks and that there have been serious presidential directives to stop them.
Sana’a University professor Mohammed Jobran said the acts of sabotage are aimed at preventing the holding of the National Dialogue.
“Service projects – whether Yemen was in a state of conflict or not – should not be touched and only losers in the political process are behind these attacks,” he said.
According to Jobran, it is vital that a contract be proposed by the Yemeni government, and it must be obligatory for all political powers to approve it, as Yemeni citizens are the only victims of such acts.
The Chief of Mareb’s Development Generations Association, Nasser Mohtam, said that escalating acts of sabotage against projects are backed by influential individuals within Yemen. Mohtam said he felt assured that acts of sabotage aim to impede the progress of the national dialogue.
“Some saboteurs have personal but illegal demands,” said Mohtam.
According to him, citizens suffer big losses as a result of sabotage attacks, and are harmed by gasses which are emitted after oil and gas pipelines are exploded. Mohtam demanded that the Yemeni government deal with the saboteurs in an uncompromising manner and never meet their demands.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that government revenues for 2012’s third quarter fell 4.9% as a result of oil shortages caused by acts of sabotage.
A financial report showed that actual revenues during the first nine months of the year reached YR 15 million. Oil revenue losses amounted to YR 104 billion, or by almost 90%, due to continuous sabotage attacks against oil pipelines.
Last week in Marib governorate, where a majority of such acts of sabotage in Yemen occur, a helicopter gunship fired on tribesmen who had been attempting to explode an oil pipeline.
Local sources stated that the helicopter fired upon but did not hit the two would-be saboteurs and caused them to flee.
Army units have begun preparations for a large-scale attempt to strengthen government efforts to protect oil and electricity lines in Marib and Shabwa. According to military sources, President Hadi has directed the Ministers of Defense and the Interior to tighten security measures in response to continuous sabotage attacks.