Chart: Abyan Tribal Hierarchy

July 25, 2012

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi is from a sub-tribe of the greater Fadhli confederation, the largest and most powerful tribal group in south Yemen. Though he fled to north Yemen in 1986 and sided with then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the 1994 civil war, he may be able to use his legitimacy as a southern tribesman to generate support in the fight against Ansar al Sharia.[1]

Click graphic to enlarge.



Abu Abdullah al Alhi, “Dathina (al Dathina),” Alh Tribe Council, December 12, 2010 [Arabic]. Available:

“Tribes of Abyan governorate,” Hadramawt Forum, November 4, 2009 [Arabic]. Available:

“Division of the Fadhli tribes of Abyan governorate,” Abyan Onboard, April 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:

“Journey in the hometown of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi,” Al Masdar Online, February 26, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:

Dheeb Illa Al Balleili, “Correct organization of the tribes of Al Balleil al Alhiyya,” Alh Tribe Council, February 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:

“Awlaqi tribes warn of consequences of cooperating with America to kill Awlaki,” Mareb Press, April 8, 2010 [Arabic]. Available:

[1] Mohamed Bin Sallam, “Yemen’s President-in-Waiting,” Yemen Times, February 19, 2012. Available: