Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Insurgents Arrest Coup Leaders Protesting Unpaid Salaries in Sana’a   - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Aden, Jeddah- Insurgency militias in Yemen captured a number of coup political figures in Sana’a following protests demanding that public sector employees get hold of their due salaries.

Militiamen have attacked demonstration organizers, and have apprehended a pro-Houthi Judge Ahmed Saif Hashed, eye witnesses told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Already suffering grievously under nearly two years of civil war, many thousands of Yemeni state workers now face destitution as their salaries have gone largely unpaid for months.

It is unclear how many of the 250,000 employees registered nationwide before the Houthis seized Sana’a in 2014 have received incomplete salaries – as a large proportion in government-held areas have been paid.

Eyewitnesses added that coup insurgents had placed protesters at gunpoint, and exercised brute power, after deploying across Tahrir Square in Sana’a where the demonstration took place.

Among the protesters were women that also were not spared insurgency violence, eyewitnesses reported. 

Hashed’s arrest comes a few hours following the arrest of Judge Abed Alwahab Qatran, which encouraged observers to believe that infighting among Houthi ranks has escalated seriously. 

In 2014, Iran-aligned Houthis allied with armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh stormed the country’s capital, driving the internationally recognized government led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Coup militias effectively hijacked Sana’a-based public institutions which pushed the constitutionally elected government to relocate to Aden. 

Political analyst and expert Wadah al-Jaleel said that recent violence affecting the ranks of the coup displays a strong sign of dichotomy and lack of inclusiveness and solidarity.

“A distinction scale has been present from the very beginning,” Jaleel said.

 “This group sees outsiders (non-Houthis) only as followers. What it did today clearly (the arbitrary arrests) indicates the approach and logic of this group,” he added. 

“People subjected to repression and assault are well-known personalities that supported Houthis in many stages– a support which continued throughout the coup and war, but Houthis refuse to acknowledge that,” Jaleel stated

“The Houthi group is composed of a narrow sectarian group structure, and such intolerance is constantly contracting—it will eventually reach conflict among identical followers,” he added.