A day after the military targeted a funeral tent in the southern province of Daleh, which lies over 300 kilometres south of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, local officials in Hadhramawt (south-eastern province) confirmed that southern exploded a section of a pipeline, thus disrupting the flow of oil.
This new attack, which only underscores Yemen’s very dire security situation and the sheer political volatility which the nation finds itself facing due to unaddressed resentment and latent tensions; came two days after tribesmen seized control of an Oil Ministry building.
Very much like Marib tribes which have relentlessly sabotaged power lines to pressure the government into giving in to their demands, Hadhramawt militants have moved their focus toward government interests, in this case the oil industry, to shift the scale of power to their advantage. But more importantly, southern militants have tried to reclaim control over their natural resources, which riches they have argued Sana’a has robbed them for the past two decades.
Tribal sources already confirmed that Thursday attack on the Oil Ministry took place in retaliation to the killing of a tribal leader earlier this month at a military checkpoint after his bodyguards refused to surrender their weapons and allowed soldiers to search them.
Although today’s attack might not be directly related to Friday’ shelling, southern militants across the board have already warned they would retaliate, if not on the ground, then politically.
So far Sana’a’s promises that the soldiers responsible for the shelling would be duly prosecuted for their actions failed to defuse public anger, as southerners have been keen to point out that the men were merely following their officers’ orders and ultimately translating on the ground Sana’a’s will.
Yesterday’s tragic incident now risked being used as a catalyst for a southern uprising.