The British “Middle East Eye” website revealed details of the problem that occurred between the Yemeni tribes of Shabwa, and an Emirati military convoy that was on its way from the sea port to Ataq, about 60 kilometers away, where the military convoy was stopped, and the protesters from the tribes demanded the soldiers to hand them over the killers of their relatives after Emirati forces used to move freely between the sea port of Balhaf and the Al-Alam camp in Ataq.
In January 2019, the UAE-backed Shabwani Elite Forces, with Emirati helicopter coverage, attacked the Al-Hajar area in Shabwa with the aim of arresting two men from the Al-Mihdar tribe. Eleven Prime Time Zone, including women and children, were killed in the process.
The UAE recognizes the massacre committed by its forces
The UAE later admitted its unlawful killing of civilians and Saudi Arabia brokered an agreement to compensate Abu Dhabi for the families of the victims, but the families say that the UAE did not abide by the agreement, and the Shabwani forces imposed a siege that lasted four months on the area before the forces loyal to the conservative government regained in August of the year 2019.
Read also: Emiratis reject the “United Emirates Global” campaign and consider it a blurring of the Emirati identity
In early 2021, the families set up tents in front of the Al Alam military camp, but their demands for compensation and justice were again ignored. Ahmed Al-Mihdhar, a spokesman for the families of the victims, told MEE: “The UAE attacked us with its warplanes and militias while we were inside our homes, killing the sons of Shabwa and besieging the men and women.” and children. And the entire governorate rejects this,” he added, “We demand the Emirati forces to hand over the killers and compensate the families of the victims, and this is what we have been asking for since 2019.”
On Monday, the Al-Mihdhar tribe detained 15 Emirati and Yemeni fighters for several hours – after the arrest, which the spokesman said was peaceful – and released them after Saudi mediation. A journalist in Shabwa told MEE, on condition of anonymity, that the families of the victims did not dare to demand any compensation. Until pro-government forces retook control of the province from UAE-backed fighters, who are now in Balhaf port and the Al Alam military camp.
He added, “I believe that the Al-Mihdhar tribe was subjected to an illegal attack, and it is a shame that the Yemenis attack civilians inside their homes, but the Emirati forces and their militias did so.”
The journalist continued: “This problem must be resolved through tribal traditions and enabling the families of the victims to judge the killers for themselves, but the Emirati forces do not understand such things. You only understand the language of power.”
Read also: “We are starving.” The UAE persecutes African workers and punishes them for the smallest mistakes!
Compensation may be the solution, the journalist said, but if Abu Dhabi does not take steps to solve the problem, tribal leaders may escalate the situation. He added, “The peaceful protests organized by tribesmen did not lead to anything, and yesterday, for the first time in Shabwa, we saw them intercepting an Emirati military convoy.” He pointed out: “The Emirati forces were moving freely in Shabwa, but yesterday it was the Al-Mihdhar tribe that did.”
UAE presence in Yemen
It is noteworthy that the UAE has diverse interests in Yemen, but one of the main goals of the small Gulf state – which does not share a border with Yemen – is to maintain its influence over the Bab al-Mandab Strait. This waterway is vital for the passage of about 9% of the world’s seaborne crude and refined petroleum.
“The UAE’s goal is very clear to me as a Yemeni, which is to ensure that it has a government in Yemen that facilitates the travel of its oil through the Bab al-Mandab,” Sherine Al-Adimi, a Yemeni-born activist and professor at Michigan State University, told MEE. “It is a very important strategic location,” she said. This is why Saudi Arabia and the United States have been interfering in Yemen in the past. And that’s what it’s really about.”
The UAE is resorting to maneuvers to extend its control over some powerful sites in the hope of maintaining its influence over the ports and maritime traffic in the region, from Socotra Island, which is located at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, to Mayon Island, which is located directly in the middle of Bab al-Mandab.
The Yemeni government asserts that these islands and ports remain under the control of the UAE to this day.
The UAE had turned the airport into a military base for its forces at the beginning of the war and refused to reopen it, for security reasons, she said. But Al-Rahbi accused the UAE forces of turning the airport into an “illegal prison for perpetrating heinous forms of torture against Yemenis.”
Follow our YouTube channel to see all the new
Click here and hit the subscribe button