Political Analysis

Yemen youth protest tribal politics

National Yemen

Yemeni youth starts anti-Shaikhs campaign

An anti-tribal advertising campaign launched by Yemeni militants on social networking site Facebook has received a sizable amount of interest from young computer users across the country. The campaign, which aims to end the role of the Tribal Affairs Bureau in Yemeni politics, has collected thousands of signatures since its initial posting.

Osama Yahya, editor-in-chief of Yemen Presse News is one of the primary signatories on the campaign list. He has said that the proponents of this proposal will do their best to remove tribal interests from matters of the state, as their presence in official state policy is impeding the construction of a modern civil state in Yemen.

Tribal affairs in Yemeni politics fall under the purview of a governmental institution established by a republican decision in the 1980’s. This institution includes elders and tribal representatives. It has the power to make significant decisions in national policy.

The campaign aims to secure a list of one million signatures to abolish the offices that work with tribal affairs. According to the authors of the campaign, the tribal affair units of the Yemeni government encourage stratification and conflict with the idea of equal citizenship.

According to the campaign, Tribal Affairs uses billions of Riyal of the state treasury every year to pay salaries and provide credits for elders and tribe members. This money could be used more effectively in the promotion of Yemen’s new modern, civil state. 

At the same time, the campaigners have said that they intend to support the tribes in removing the elders controlling the tribes’ interests. Instead, they propose a civil system in which each person can exercise a right to receive education, improve their social status, and be an active member in political and civil life.

They added to the campaign page that “the main aim of this campaign isn’t to be enemies with the tribes and elders, but rather to create an equal community where all the people can enjoy their rights with out discrimination.”

The establishers of this campaign have faced harassed and obstruction of beneficiaries who do the best to failure the campaign.

The establishers of this campaign look for supporting of national dialogue conference members to cancel the interest of the tribes although the against from many members of the Conference who belong to elders group.

From his part, Mohammed Assadi the second deputy of the Rasheed governance team in dialogue conference said that the team put the idea of canceling the interest of the tribes to the vote from the team members then adoption it. And he said to “Yemen Press” all have to obey the State institution not to a class or tribe.

Assadi mentioned that, the team has finished preparing constitutional texts for achieving the balance between the authority and responsibility so that don’t let anyone have authority over the law.

The most important to mention it is that, the manager of government accord Mohamed Salem Basendwah has announced to stop balancing the interests of tribal affairs while his assuming the presidency of the government in December 2012, however he retreated on that because some tribes pressures.