Only a day after tribesmen sabotaged south-eastern Hadhramawt oil pipeline, as to exert revenge on the government for the killing of prominent tribal leader, Sheikh Said Bin Habrish last December, armed tribal militant once again chose to demonstrate their ire by blowing the major pipeline, thus yet again bringing all activities to a standstill.
This new sabotage operation, said local officials came as a retaliation for the death yesterday of a tribesman. The militant was shot dead by the military at a checkpoint on Sunday after tensions led to weapons being drawn and fired. Officials so far have refused to comment on the matter, only saying that a panel will review the incident as to establish what had happened and assert blame, if need be.
It is important to note that such incidents have become somewhat of an occupational hazard in Yemen, as insecurity and instability have made both police and military highly tensed, especially in the light of so many random al-Qaeda-led shootings.
“Gunmen overnight blew up the pipeline linking Masila oilfield to al-Daba port [in the town of Shahr on the Gulf of Aden],” a local security official was quoted by AFP as saying.
Local tribal chief, Ahmad Bamaezz blamed the incident on armed Youth, noting that the men were from a local tribe. “They were angered by the killing of a member of their tribe, an unarmed civilian, at an army checkpoint on Sunday,” he told reporters.
Since December Hadhramawt has witnessed almost back to back attacks against its oil facilities, in a clear attempt to exert pressure on Sana’a central government.
Again, state officials have failed to regain control of the situation, allowing armed dissidents to disrupt Yemen’s main industry, thus jeopardizing the very country’s economic recovery. Following in the footsteps of their fellow tribesmen from Marib, where sabotage operations have been a common recurrence, Hadhramawt tribesmen have too understood the power of economic blackmail to induce policy changes.