Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 48

August 5, 2011

The Yemeni military has been unable to defeat armed opposition groups throughout the country. Opposition tribesmen have taken up positions in the capital in response to the movement of elite forces, prompting fears of the resumption of fighting in Sana’a.

There is a renewed risk of violence in Sana’a after the deployment of Republican Guard and tribal forces to al Hasaba district. Tribesmen loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar deployed to the capital. The tribesmen have dug trenches in al Hasaba district of Sana’a. Republican Guard troops and armored vehicles advanced on the area. Both sides have established checkpoints and roadblocks.

Continued shelling in Arhab district in Sana’a has displaced up to 9,500 people. Many have fled to Amran governorate and others have sought shelter from the shelling in nearby caves.

The offensive against al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar is ongoing. Tribesmen have manned positions surrounding the capital as the Yemeni military continues its drive against the militants. Violence has displaced over 90,000 people from Abyan governorate.

Fighting broke out at a protest in Shihr village in Hadramawt. People turned out to demonstrate against the death of a man killed the week prior. At least two people were killed and three others injured in clashes with police.

An al Qaeda operative on the Saudi most-wanted list turned himself in to authorities. Abdel Salam Rashed al Farraj has been reunited with his family. It is not known where Farraj was prior to his return to Saudi Arabia, but many Saudi al Qaeda operatives relocated to Yemen.

A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state, which remains at risk of a broader armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.

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