By Abdul-Aziz Al-Hyagim
The past year saw bombings, assassinations, increased checkpoints and security concerns as well as continuous attacks against power stations, oil pipelines and internet cables.
The Ministry of Defense released a report detailing a record number of assassinations against political, military and security forces. 73 military leaders were killed in 2012, in addition to 63 intelligence officers, the report said. Other prominent officials were the subject of numerous assassination attempts.
According to a report released by the Ministry of Interior, there were 1529 murders in 2012, including the murder of 102 children and 89 women.
Security forces have yet to arrest 1463 of 2361 perpetrators, the ministry said.
“Revenge is the main reason behind 202 murders, family disputes caused 182 crimes and 73 were of terrorist motives.”
254 crimes were due to disputes over land and real estate, 34 crimes were the result of mental health issues and 29 crimes involved theft.
Politicians and analysts say the chaotic security situation is largely due to the division between military and security forces, most notably, the Republican Guard, an elite unit headed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son until recently.
Political advisor to military lead Ali Mohsen, Abdulwahab Tawaf, said that trained armed forces were largely used to serve Saleh and his relatives.
The unit was notably not used in the war against Al-Qaeda or the Houthis, he said.
“It was very possible to see a similar case to what is happening in Syria here in Yemen if there weren’t army units that had vowed to protect the revolutionaries calling for change,” Tawaf said.
Military divisions have left Yemen in a precarious security situation, Tawaf said, and the chaos has become so widespread that none of the gunmen responsible for assassinating 63 intelligence officers have been arrested.
Tawaf believes the security situation has improved since President Hadi’s decrees were issued, ordering the restructuring of the military. An upcoming decree to be issued by the Ministry of Interior will further improve the country’s security, Tawaf said.
But security affairs researcher Sadeq Al-Hamdani believes that the security situation has become part of a political game as many groups and parties have started launching operations to announce their existence.
“They want to convey the message that they are able to reach all places and so they started attacking power cables and oil pipelines as well as targeting military leaders and prominent politicians,” Al-Hamdani said.
Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Mohammed Al-Mawery said that the security issues of 2012 were not a reflection of the ministry failures, but are rather attributed to the security vacuum in the aftermath of Yemen’s uprising.
“The Ministry of Interior has plans in place to continue improving Yemen’s security. We’re confident citizens will see a change in the coming days, just as the decision to restructure the military has already created change,” he said.
Already, Al-Mawery said, 200 weapons have been seized in the capital since the beginning of 2013. More than 2000 motorcycles were confiscated and numerous wanted criminals have been arrested.