Houthis intensify clampdown on opponents

A follower of the Shi'ite Houthi movement carries a rifle during a ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen September 9, 2017. (REUTERS)
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Updated 21 July 2020

Houthis intensify clampdown on opponents

  • Houthis raid houses of lawmaker while EU calls for release of four journalists sentenced to death

AL-MUKALLA: The Iran-backed Houthis in Sanaa have stormed properties of Yasser Al-Awadhi, a tribal and political leader who led a military uprising against their rule in the central province of Al-Bayda.

The move comes amid an intensified crackdown on their opponents. They have sentenced dozens of army commanders, tribal leaders and legislators to death and confiscated properties in areas under their control.

Local media said that armed men entered Al-Awadhi’s house and told its occupants to leave, then moved to his shops around the capital.

Al-Awadhi, a senior member of the General People’s Congress and a leader of Al-Awadh tribe, last month led a large number of tribesmen against the Houthis after the Houthis refused to punish local fighters who had killed a woman.

The Houthis crushed the uprising, forcing Al-Awadhi and the tribesmen to move into government-controlled areas in Al-Bayda.

Yemen Today TV, a mouthpiece for, said the Houthis confiscated all the properties owned by Al-Awadhi and his siblings.

The Houthi official media said their security services were executing judiciary orders for confiscating properties of Yemeni political, military and tribal figures who opposed their rule and backed the internationally recognized government and the Arab coalition-led military operations in the country.

At the same time, the Houthi-controlled parliament in Sanaa has begun discussing stripping 12 MPs of their parliamentarian immunity ahead of putting them on trial for supporting the group’s enemies.

On Monday, the EU Heads of Mission to Yemen called upon the Houthis to immediately release the four Yemeni journalists who were sentenced to death, urging warring factions in Yemen to stop the harassment of journalists.

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In April, Houthis triggered a local and international outrage after a court under their control in Sanaa sentenced four journalists to death, accusing them of espionage.

“The EU Heads of Mission call on all parties to immediately release all detained journalists in Yemen, including Akram Al-Walidi, Abdelkhaleq Amran, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq al-Mansouri who have been sentenced to death. The uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 makes their release all more urgent,” the mission said in a statement.

In April, Houthi triggered local and international outrage after a court under their control in Sanaa sentenced the four journalists to death, accusing them of espionage.

Officer killed

A security officer and his bodyguard were killed on Monday when unidentified gunmen attacked their military vehicle in the southern province of Abyan, Abyan security forces said in a statement.

Captain Abdullah Ahmed Al-Hanshi, the commander of Special Security Forces in Al-Mahfad district, and his bodyguard Samed Abdullah Al-Hanshi were driving their armed vehicle in Al-Haq region in Abyan’s Al-Mahfad when they came under heavy gunfire that killed them instantly.

The Yemeni government has many times accused local separatists of plotting attacks on its forces heading to neighboring Shouqra.

In the western Hodeidah, fighting raged on Monday for the third consecutive day in different contested locations in the province as the rebels sought to capture new areas outside the city of Hodeidah. The pro-government Joint Forces said in a statement that 12 Houthis, including nine snipers, were killed in foiled attacks in Durihimi, Al-Jah, Al-Fazeh, Hayes and Attuhayta.

A peace agreement signed between the government and the Houthis in late 2018 has largely failed to halt hostilities as both sides continue to trade shelling.

Local rights groups say more than 500 civilians have been killed in Houthi fire and landmines in Hodeidah since December 2018.

 

 


UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

Updated 24 September 2020

UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

  • They discussed possible investment opportunities in renewable energies

DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The energy ministers of the UAE and Israel discussed possible cooperation and investment opportunities, including natural gas exports to Europe, in a video call on Wednesday, Emirates state news agency WAM reported.
A statement said the two minster discussed possible investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, oil, gas and renewable energy, as the UAE plans to the shift toward green energies.
During the call, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al-Mazroui “reviewed the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which is the first unified energy plan in the country that balances production and consumption aspects and global environmental obligations and ensures a comfortable economic environment for growth in all sectors.”
The two sides also focused on advanced technology companies in the field of energy and cybersecurity.
Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations, an accord that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the statement presented a “historic opportunity” for energy development in the region.
“I spoke (with the UAE energy minister) on cooperating in linking power grids and developing the natural gas market for exports via pipeline to Europe ... as well as other projects,” an Israeli statement quoted Steinitz as saying.
The statement, released by Steinitz’s office, said he proposed the UAE join an Egypt-based energy forum that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the east Mediterranean.
“They (the UAE) said they would examine the issue,” the Israeli statement said.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter on Tuesday establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).
The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.
(With Reuters)